Always the Best Week of the Year

Nothing Compares to the Fair
The best week of the year is upon us—the week 4-H and FFA kids from around the county have spent their whole summer working up to. It’s… FAIR WEEK.
Fair week is filled with ups and downs, smiles and tears, the rekindling of old friendships, and the making of new. A week of ice cream treats, carnival rides, sleepless nights, and everlasting memories. The many activities that get packed into one week of the fair can make it overwhelming. But if you take it one day at a time, one animal or project at a time, one ice cream cone at a time—I promise you can make out in one piece and have fun doing it.
As long as I can remember I have come to the fair to enjoy its festivities with my family and friends. From free watermelon, to showing my beef cattle and goats, to heading to the races at the grandstands—I have experienced the fair through the ins and outs.
This Year Is Different—But It Is Still a Community Like No Other
Hannah received support from family–and many others.
But this year was different for me. This year I was not in the show ring, I didn’t have any projects to present to judges, and I came to the fair—for the first time—to spectate. Being able to take a step back made me realize something special—how a community can come together to make a place something so great, so special, and that convinces me it is the best place in the world.
Much of what makes this place so special is the people we share it with. Many come together to help others out when it’s their first year showing a dairy heifer or meat goat. Sponsors contribute money to make the facilities and activities be the best they can be. Entertainers give us a laugh and make us forget about all our worries. The fair board makes decisions to improve the fair for the next year. Families pick us up every time we fall down and then push us to continue on with a smile. It’s a community that’s unlike any other.
The fair holds a special place in my heart. Not only has it been the foundation of my favorite memories, but also it has taught me that hard work, dedication, and passion—combined with family, community, and service—build traditions, encourage success, and create a network of people you can rely on day in and day out. The fair is a community working to instill the very best qualities in each individual. But most importantly, it is the people that make the fair great again—and again.
by Hannah Pagel (Iowa State University student and CAST Student Administrative Assistant)

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