Hutchinson — Despite the somber mood at the Kansas State Fair, general manager Bill Ogg said he's happy with the decision to stay open.
The decision was made with no disrespect, Ogg said, but with the desire to keep a certain degree of normalcy in an already-unnerving situation.
"We realize the gravity of the situation," he said. "We have friends and relatives in New York. We chose with very honorable intention that this celebration of Kansas will go on."
Although the fair continued, the sadness felt nationwide after the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington has been palpable on the fairgrounds, Ogg said.
Five of the 75 schools scheduled to send marching bands to the fair's annual "Band Day" on Wednesday kept their students at home.
At the John Deere booth, exhibitors flew an American flag at half-staff.
And people gathered in groups to talk quietly rather than party loudly, as they usually do at the fair.
"Understandably, it's a little bit more somber here than what we would like the fair to be," Ogg said.