Follow the president to the county fair
In 2011, President Barack Obama found time to visit a county fair in the Sauk Valley. As the 2012 fair season gets under way, local residents are encouraged to do the same.
Last August, President Barack Obama, while on a Midwestern bus tour, made an unscheduled stop at the Whiteside County Fair in Morrison.
His visit created a flurry of excitement, as word of Obama’s walking tour through the fairgrounds spread far and wide.
Many fair goers met or saw the president during his unscheduled stop. Local folks came away with unforgettable memories.
That’s the thing about county fairs. Organizers spend months creating detailed schedules of events. Exhibitors carefully prepare their prized animals, pies, preserves, or fine arts. Vendors bring their wares. Carnival workers set up the rides.
The fair proceeds to operate on a tight schedule, and then – serendipity. Something completely unexpected happens.
It doesn’t have to be a presidential visit to create lasting memories. Maybe it’s the blue ribbon won by you or a family member. It could be the country music singer’s riveting performance that you experience for the first time.
The sweet-and-sour lemon shakeup. The corn dog, saturated with grease and flavor. The wild carnival ride that you finally worked up the courage to take.
Maybe it’s the fun of enjoying the fair-going experience with family or friends – or that special someone.
Or, it might be the serendipity of bumping into an old friend for the first time in many years.
County fair season begins Thursday in the Sauk Valley, as the Lee County 4-H Fair and Junior Show starts its 4-day run. The fair’s schedule is packed with interesting activities designed to appeal to a wide audience.
After the Lee fair wraps up Sunday, the region has four more fairs in quick succession: the Ogle County Fair (Aug. 1-5), the Carroll County Fair (Aug. 7-11), the Whiteside County Fair (Aug. 14-18), and the Bureau County Fair (Aug. 22-26).
Organizers, exhibitors and volunteers put in a lot of work to make fairs a success. Healthy attendance can help give fair coffers a needed shot in the arm so that these traditional festivals of agriculture and rural life can afford to continue.
Barack Obama – the president of the United States and the leader of the free world – found time last year to visit a county fair in the Sauk Valley.
This year, so should you.