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It’s blue ribbon time in Barton County
Check out the fair's offerings
2024 fair mopping
Volunteers mop the floor of Expo II on Saturday, June 22, in preparation for the 2024 Barton County Fair. - photo by Susan Thacker

The Barton County Fair officially starts on Wednesday, June 26, but we got a taste of pre-fair events this past weekend.

Children in 4-H brought their clothing and fiber arts to Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday morning to be judged. In the afternoon, Expo III was the site of the 4-H dog show. While that was going on, active fair supporters were busy mopping the floors in Expo II prior to set-up.

The fair theme this year is “Blue Jeans and Big Dreams,” which can mean different things to different people. Charles Atkinson, president of the Barton County Fair Association, notes that blue jeans are a symbol for hard work, cowboys and comfort – suitable for every day or a night on the town.

Wearing blue jeans for casual attire, some of us grew up thinking fairs meant one thing – a carnival with rides, games and fair food, along with some entertainment. Others grew up with a 4-H background and knew that the fair was a place to enter their exhibits. These might be animals they spent a year taking care of and learning about, or a project they worked on diligently over days or weeks. It might be vegetables or flowers grown in a garden, or a food entry baked in a kitchen. With the addition of an open-class fair, more people were exposed to this hands-on aspect of the fair.

As Atkinson says, hard work (blue jeans) leads to the accomplishment of big dreams.

We’ve spent recent days looking at “Trips on a Tankful” for those who want to travel a bit, but a trip to the fair, right here in Barton County, is as far as you need to go to have a good time this summer. The carnival is part of the fair experience, too, and this year by having the fair earlier than in the past the fair board was able to get a carnival for four days instead of the usual three.