The soul of “The Best County Fair On Earth” won’t be found on the main stage, or inside the corn dog stand.
The mission of the Douglas County Fair is really about agriculture — a spotlight for our future farmers, ranchers and others who put the county’s bountiful resources to good purpose.
It’s a reminder that once upon a time we only ate what we grew.
You can see it on the faces of the FFA or 4-H youngsters as they proudly parade a prized market steer or hog through Friday’s auction. You can smell it in the air from the homemade baked goods on display to delight the judges.
It’s fair time in Douglas County and it will be through Saturday. It’s a chance to see old friends, share recipes, turn the kids loose on some carnival rides, listen to some great music and pretty much enjoy the nostalgia that only a country-style county fair can provide.
This year’s fair is a day shorter (Wednesday through Saturday), but promises to deliver just as much as it always has. “It still has all the elements,” Fairgrounds Director Harold Phillips told us. “It will just be staged over fewer days.”
As with most of us, Phillips and his staff must do more with less and fairgoers won’t see evidence of the financial challenges facing most county fairs today as funding continues to shrink.
The key is to provide plenty of value for the $9 adult ticket prices ($7 for those 65 and over and $4 for ages 6-12) and it appears Phillips and his team has done that.
Admission also covers the headliner entertainers and country singer Clay Walker performs tonight, while rockers 3 Doors Down and Whitesnake perform Friday and Saturday nights respectively.
A national theme park, by comparison, might charge $9 for a single jumbo dog. Public transportation is also available and a list of the routes and schedule is available on the fair’s website (www.co.douglas.or.us/dcfair).
Whether you belong to 4-H, show your farm animals, enter garden produce or bring in art, crafts or handmade items, the fair has something to offer everyone. It’s a reminder of who we are and where we came from and there is something comfortable about that in a high-tech, 3-D world fighting to keep us amused and entertained 24 hours per day.
Close our eyes and the sounds and scents can carry us as far back as we choose to go.
It’s fair time in Douglas County and the summer is fading fast. We hope you can take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds that in many respects represent the fabric of our community.