Annual July event showcases our area’s ag-based heritage

It’s showtime.
The area’s rich, ag-based heritage will be on full display this week with the 147th version of the Hamilton County Fair.
This is a highlight of the year for many area youth, serving as a milestone end-of-summer event as well for the entire community. Four days in July offer a made-to-order invitation to gather with friends and have some fun while celebrating our culture.
I grew up in western Nebraska, where the Chase County Fair provided memorable moments from my childhood. Though I wasn’t showing animals, many of my friends were and it gave me a sense of place and rural perspective that has endured my entire life. Fiftysome years later, those memories still endure, even for a “city kid.”
I always find my way to the barns at some point and enjoy watching young people showcase their animals, as well as their own confidence in the ring. It’s important to show support for those young folks who represent the next generation of agricultural leaders.
There are some new facilities worth checking out this year, including a fully finished beef barn and nearby rest rooms. An oval nearby that once featured horse shows has been brought back to life as well and will debut as an RC (remote control) race track. Maintaining and improving the fairgrounds is a year-round effort, and we’re fortunate to have such nice facilities available.
Though the core agenda is built around traditional animal shows, 4-H/open class exhibits and the nightly midway carnival, this year’s schedule features some new or slightly revised activities as well including a hypnotist and RC races. The always popular Figure 8 and trailer races are back by popular demand, as Hamilton County crowds have proven they will show up and cheer when engines rev up and cars collide.
A story on this week’s front page highlights all there is to do in the coming days, including Family Night activities on Thursday, Figure 8 races Friday, trailer races on Saturday and Sunday’s hypnotist show and A-Town Showdown RC Races.
It looks like it will be a hot one, which is par for the course this time of year. That’s just part of the deal, as Mother Nature presents the same challenge our ancestors have battled for 150 years. Drink lots of water, find some shade or AC and deal with it, as we always do.
It’s fair time, so bring it on.
Kurt Johnson

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