Vinland Fred Gottstein says the number of people attending the Vinland Fair hasn't changed much in 83 years.
"Everybody rode horses, you didn't have to go very far," he said. "I wouldn't say there's more people now than years ago."
At age 83, Gottstein has attended almost every fair since the event was first held in 1907.
He made the remarks Saturday while sitting in the shade at a picnic table enjoying the atmosphere of the 83rd annual Vinland Fair. The fair, held Thursday through Saturday, featured music, homemade food and exhibits.
Volunteers estimated on Saturday that several thousand visitors had attended this year's fair.
"Attendance has been excellent this year," said Nora Cleland, co-president of the fair.
"It's sort of a reunion. You see lots of people that you haven't seen in a year," she said.
CLELAND SAID the homemade pies, chicken and barbecue dinners on sale at the fair attract many visitors.
"Lot's of people from the surrounding areas come for the homemade pie," she said. "I even had a guy who wanted two pieces for breakfast this morning.
"And people come for the other food. You never know what the hot item is going to be last year it was the barbecue, this year it is the chicken dinners."
Saturday's events included a children's pet competition, which included categories of the prettiest rabbit and best-trained dog.
"The dogs get up there and they get totally freaked out," Cleland said, as the best-trained dog competition got underway.
Competitors brought dogs on a stage and attempted to make them perform tricks as part of the competition.
ANDREA IRICK, 7, Baldwin, received first place in the category for the good behavior of her poodle, Duffy.
Andrea said rewarding Duffy with a piece of roast beef was the key to having him well-trained.
Meanwhile, Wilma Rockhold and Moleta Schmidt, both of Vinland, were inside the fair's main display building showing visitors the winners of the Vinland Fair canning contest.
"If it's processed right, you can keep canned goods for years," said Schmidt, who won three first-place, three second-place and two third-place ribbons for her canned jams, vegetables and fruit.
The women said only 83 jars of food were entered in this year's canning contest compared to about 100 entries last year.
OTHER ribbon-winning items on display included garden vegetables, crafts, pies, and photographs.
The Vinland Fair was first held in the late 19th century and revitalized in 1907.
It has been held every year since, and organizers said it is one of the oldest private fairs in the state.
Vinland is a small rural community located about 10 miles southeast of Lawrence at Douglas County roads 460 and 1055.
The fair has served as a major trading and socializing event. It is always held on the third Thursday, Friday and Saturday of August.