The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Editorials

June 22, 2014

Tradition lives on at the fair

This year’s edition of the Vermilion County Fair opens its gates Monday at the fairgrounds just off U.S. Route 150 west of Danville, continuing a long tradition of honoring agriculture’s role in our community.

County fairs enjoy a long tradition in the Midwest. The event traces its roots through the centuries to the Middle Ages, where the spectacles of entertainers attracted crowds from wide areas. In the early years on the United States, the annual fair took on its agricultural theme still used today. It was the one time each year farmers and families across the region would gather to discuss crops, livestock and other issues.

Today’s fair continues that tradition. The Vermilion County Fair includes open classes of competition for all residents in a number of areas, including livestock. It’s a chance for the biggest and best in the county to be recognized.

The Vermilion County Fair also includes a large number of competitive categories for the hundreds of young people in the county who participate in 4-H Clubs.

Today’s 4-H still includes livestock and home economics, but it also offers its members the opportunity to explore topics such as computer science, rockets and robotics.

Along with all of that comes the traditional fair entertainment. The thrill of carnival rides, the excitement of competition during grandstand events and the joy of eating all of the fair food that experts tell us is not good for us. We suspect if the experts ever put down their wheat-grass smoothie and munched an elephant ear, drank a lemon shake-up or let whisps of cotton candy melt in their mouths, they would ease the rules for at least this one week of the year.

So load up the family this week and make the short trip along Route 150 to the fairgrounds for a day of fun, food and entertainment.

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