Fair about more than animals

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 29, 2008

Somehow ignoring the show arena, missing the roaring applause from the grandstands and ignoring the screaming engines from the field, many people miss the point of the Lawrence County Fair.

The 8-day event in Proctorville isn’t just for farmers. It isn’t just about eastern Lawrence County. It isn’t just for any one demographic.

The fair is about our community, fellowship and offering all of Lawrence County a good time — southern Ohio style.

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Many people use this event as their summer vacation and a chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Maybe the statistics could help convince those who can’t see the fair for what it is.

More than 1,000 members of nearly 30 4-H groups from all across the county are expected to participate this year. That is a lot of youth who put in hard work, show dedication, learn responsibility and take a big step toward adulthood.

The auctions often bring in more than $100,000 as local businesses open their wallets and their hearts to help these youth achieve their dreams, which often includes putting this money toward a college or post-secondary education.

More than 50,000 visitors are expected at the event. If each one of those people spends even $1 more in Lawrence County than they would have otherwise, that is a significant impact on the local economy.

The reality is that the event likely injects far more revenue than that into local businesses but the tangible results are difficult to measure.

But maybe you are just interested in having fun. Fair organizers try to offer something for everyone that includes music, bull riding, stunt driving, motocross, a demolition derby and much more.

This year is the perfect time to stop and smell the roses — and funnel cake and bloomin’ onions and other fair goodies — when it comes to what the Lawrence County Fair means to the community.

Mixed in amongst all the sights, sounds and activities is an event that captures the essence of southern Ohio.