The Barton County Fair is officially in full swing. Exhibits were checked in Wednesday and more will be checked in Thursday morning. Commercial exhibits, concerts and a carnival will be open Thursday through Saturday. Don’t forget Sunday’s “Sunrise” Service, 4-H Barbecue, Celebrity Showmanship, 4-H Showcase Awards and the final event, the Sale of Champions at 2:30 p.m.
There will still be work to do, with volunteers joining the tear-down and cleanup on Monday, and anyone who wants to lend a hand would be welcome.
This time of year, we are reminded of why county fairs exist in the first place. They bring the community together to socialize, enjoy fun food, and be entertained. For those with fair entries, it is a time to show off what they’ve learned while raising animals, or sewing, or cooking, or creating something special. For others, looking at the entries may be educational or spark an idea for another project. In other words, the fair is a place to be curious and open to something new, even while the event is comfortably familiar. The rural residents and city-dwellers can come together for a shared experience.
You don’t have to have a carnival to make a county fair, but we’re excited to see that feature is back again this year. Back in 2017, the Kansas Legislature passed the “Kansas Amusement Ride Act,” adopting stricter safety requirements that spelled the end of many small home-owned rides. WEEE Entertainment, a family-run mobile carnival that operates in Kansas and Oklahoma, will grace our Expo grounds for three days. If we want the carnival to continue in future years, be sure to support it this week.
Whatever brings you out to the Expo, do come to the fair.