It’s not unusual for the weather to be hot during the Douglas County Fair, but the current relentless string of high temperatures near or above 100 degrees likely will pose some special challenges for both exhibits and attendance at this year’s event. Nonetheless, we hope local residents will brave the heat to enjoy the many fair activities that help unite rural and urban interests in the county.
The county fair is a traditional spot for farmers and gardeners to showcase the products of their summer labors. Late July/early August often is the perfect time for residents to show off their prize tomatoes, flowers or other crops. Judges at Tuesday’s horticulture contest said entries in their fair categories had been declining for a number of years, but, because of this year’s heat wave, it’s easy to understand why it literally would be slim pickings in those categories this year.
Over the years, 4-H project areas have expanded well beyond traditional categories and now tap into the interests of many youngsters who don’t live on a farm. Whether they’re raising livestock, taking photos, working on robotics or honing their cooking skills, it’s great to see so many young 4-H’ers take some time away from a video screen or cellphone to pursue other activities.
A petting zoo and pony rides, scheduled every day through Saturday, are a rare opportunity for city kids to get up close and personal with farm animals. The demolition derby, the tractor pull and the carnival are perennial favorites for fair-goers. Fair highlights are included in the Journal-World’s Datebook and the full schedule of events is available at www.dgcountyfair.com.
We know it’s tempting to stay in your air-conditioned home this week, but the Douglas County Fair is a great reason to venture outside or even just into one of the fairgrounds’ air-conditioned buildings for a while this week.