Fair play

We give the Marion County Fair Board credit for its effort to increase interest and participation in the 84th annual event planned for July 23-26 in Hills?boro. Many traditional components of the fair will return?including 4-H and open-class contests, two evenings of Kraft Rodeo, the Van De Creek pedal pull for kids on Wednes?day, the truck and antique pull for enthusiasts of all ages Friday and the always popular demolition derby on Satur?day.

The biggest changes this year are the return of a carnival and the enhancement of fair activities on Saturday?including the annual parade, which has been a Wednesday evening staple for as long as we can remember. In the past, Saturday has been a relatively empty day until the demolition derby kicks off at 7 p.m. This year, we count at least seven new, family-oriented activities on the docket, starting with a 5-kilometer run/walk at 7:45 a.m. to the Farmer Style Barnyard Olympics from 1-2 p.m. Check out the schedule printed in the fair tab that is inserted in this issue.

Some have said the Marion County Fair has seen its better days. Certainly times have changed, but this is an opportunity to support the board?s innovations. Local participation is particularly crucial in regard to the carnival. If families truly think a quality carnival provides an important dimension to the county fair, then come out and contribute to a financial incentive for returning in the years ahead.

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