One can only speculate whether members of that first Marion County Fair Association (see Page 13) ever wondered in 1931 whether their fledgling enterprise would get off the ground, much less last three-quarters of a century. But it did-and it has. This week’s 75th fair stands as a testament to their vision and determination.
A lot of things have remained constant over the years. That first event showcased chickens-and you might find a few birds on display this week in the Poultry building. Likewise, you can still enjoy friendly competition in the domain of “Domestic Sciences & Art.”
But the fair also has evolved and upgraded as times and technologies have changed. Today, 4-H continues to be on center stage, as it should be-but that organization has changed, too, in recent years, enticing “city kids” to join as the number of rural families continues to decline. And the original planners could never have imagined that a demolition derby would be the highlight of the fair.
In this day of entertainment-inflation, when young families are hard to impress, the current fair board faces challenges as it looks to the future. But don’t count out a centennial party in 2031. -DR