There's no glitz, glamour or full-scale high-tech wizardry used to awe which seems to be needed - or felt it is needed - in this day and age of providing entertainment. There are no fancy 21st century version whistles, horns or gimmicks involved.
No, the summer fairs in our area like the Columbiana County Fair which formally opened last night and the upcoming Canfield Fair are two examples of what is right with our area. Fairs provide plain old fashioned entertainment. And you don't need a tankful of expensive gas to get there
Generations have gone to these fairs and generations to come will do likewise. And the refreshing part is very little changes about the fair themselves. The animal displays you see today are similar to those from decades ago. Same with the food, crafts, activities and even some of the kid games and rides.
Let's face it too, it's refreshing to know that our children don't always - even though it does seem otherwise - have to have a laptop in front of them or a full satellite access remote control in their hand to be happy and entertained. There's something to be said for the smile on the face of a youngster from simply petting a newborn calf at the fair. Or how about the look on the face of a 4H youngster who proudly raises an animal for presentation at the fair? And earns a ribbon to boot. Or the smiles on face that only the taste of a fair sausage sandwich with all the delicious gunk and trimmings can leave? Or how about a slice of fresh apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it to go along with that slice of Americana that is the Columbiana County Fair?
This is all so timeless which makes a fair all so special. Sometimes no change is for the better. Our fairs like that going on in Lisbon are frozen in moments in time. Norman Rockwell would've loved to be standing at the fairgrounds with a brush in his hand. Fairs are stuff of old Saturday Evening Post covers. Fairs are part of our local culture and history. County fairs are homage to our agriculture-based heritage. It's small towns and rural communities at their best. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a corn dog, quilt show or watching animal judging. Some may snicker and call it hokey or backwards. Let them go ahead. Hey, there's nothing wrong with getting a kick out of going to the demolition derby. Or winning a stuffed animal by knocking over the bottles. Especially if you go to the fair with family or your sweetheart.
The fairs and all of those folks, many of whom are volunteers, behind them deserve their own blue ribbons. So enjoy the animals, activities, rides, crafts, games and food of the 2011 fairs. They are a big part of our area's summertime. Just like they've always been and always will be.