The Champaign County Fair

Well, it’s here again, the Champaign County Ohio Fair!

Walking around the fairgrounds is like old home week for me. I used to see everyone I knew when I went to the fair. It was the social event of the summer; fall sports hadn’t quite heated up yet, school hasn’t started, and all the kids from all over the county are all in one place, hanging out in the barns, having a good time.

Well, I don’t know quite as many people as I did fifteen years or more ago. I still know quite a few people when I go out there, but the crew I used to run with aren’t there around the clock, or aren’t there at all any more. We’ve all moved on and are doing other things in our lives…except for those who are back at the fair to watch kids, or kids of friends or relatives, show their animals or show off their projects.

It’s been interesting to go out there and remember all the memories. I showed market hogs in 4-H, participated in the 4-H Garment Revue, and submitted cooking projects for 4-H as well. I was in the pig scramble when I was in high school, and I remember walking around the fairgrounds covered in mud after it was over, grinning like a loon with friends who were equally covered in mud. I remember being miserable in the rain and mud and worrying about keeping water available for animals when the heat reached nearly 100 degrees. I remember playing cards on a showbox while we waited our turn to head to the show arena to show our animals or watch our friends.

It’s not the same now that I’m not in high school. It’s not as exciting as it was at the time, when I was involved in everything and running from event to event, going in at 6 am and going home at midnight. It is, however, still pretty cool to go out there, and see that other kids are forming some of the same memories that I have. It’s a part of growing up in Champaign County, Ohio, almost like a rite of passage.

It’s one of those events that makes me happy to see that it’s continuing, and growing, and changing, and yet not changing at all.

Good luck to all 4-H, FFA, and Junior Fair participants this year.