Fairs part of Ohio culture

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2008

When fairs began in Ohio in the middle of the 19th Century, they were orchestrated to assist the agricultural community and help farmers with many of the challenges they faced.

The state fair rotated around the state in those early years before settling in Columbus in 1874. It has run continuously since then except for the years of World War II (1942-45).

Each county has a fair with its own history and own celebration of local communities. Although they may have different characteristics, they all share the common goal that began all those years ago - to bring recognition and dollars to the agricultural community.

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The Lawrence County Fair in Proctorville, which continues through Saturday, is the fair that brings that recognition to people in our communities. And it deserves respect as one of this county’s institutions.

The Ironton Tribune tries to provide extensive coverage of the fair for a lot of reasons. Covering the various competitions in order to give recognition to the young people who work hard with their animals is part of our coverage. A slew of photographs from the events and features on the people who participate also show up in our pages.

But the fair is a about a lot more than just grand champion hogs, reserve champion goats, funnel cakes and lemonade. It’s a yearly celebration of our culture and our way of life in Ohio and Lawrence County.

In this age of technology where the fair is full of people with cellular phones, musical devices and the like, it’s good to know that some things never change. What made a good steer all those years ago, well, still makes for a good steer today.

Those who decide to attend this year’s fair should certainly take advantage of all the amenities, but should remember the foundation that it was built on.