Fair now is a favorite tradition

When I was 10, my mom brought me to the Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair for the first time. I remember that day well. My initial impression was that Hillsboro had to be the biggest town I?d ever seen. My second reaction was to be bored out of my little mind.

I decided somewhere along Main Street, amid what seemed like millions of people, that I would never come back. And I didn?t until I was a student at Tabor.

Again, I went with my mom. I?m not sure she really wanted to go with me. She probably kept replaying the horror of dragging an exhausted and exasperated 10-year-old from booth to booth. And maybe she wasn?t sure an 18-year-old version would be much better.

Honestly, I wasn?t entirely sure I wanted to go either. But I figured at least this time I was only a few blocks away from home, rather than 60 miles. And I had the out of my own two feet rather than my mom?s driving.

So I decided to try it again. And surprise of all surprises, I enjoyed myself. And my mom did, too. Ever since then, with the exception of one year when I was at a wedding, we?ve walked Main and Grand together, sometimes buying, but mostly browsing and spending time together.

It?s a day I look forward to all year.

I?m proud of the event and the lifeblood it brings to our community. The Arts & Crafts Association Board does an outstanding job of organizing the fair. Com?munity volunteers pitch in every year to make the event run as smooth as possible. Our city has the opportunity every third Saturday of September to put our best face forward and make a great impression with vendors and shoppers alike?and it always does.

This year I?ve had the privilege of working for the fair board as its marketing director. The ladies who serve on the board are a wealth of knowledge, and they pour wisdom and dedication into every task that goes into making the fair successful.

So it was intimidating to take on the marketing role as a fresh face.

But the board has been encouraging in my endeavor, desiring a combination of old strategies and new. I think we?ve struck a nice balance.

One of the things I was asked to do was to build up a stronger online presence for the fair. So with the use of social media?Facebook, of course?we?ve started to do that. We?ve held promotions there, and as a special thank-you to the Hillsboro community for all it does to support the fair, there?s a little something special on the fair insert in the Free Press this week.

Because really, without the support of our community, the fair wouldn?t have lasted into its 45th year.

So thank you Hillsboro, for the time I get to spend each year with my mom, walking our streets, enjoying shopping, sunshine and bierrocks…or sausage…or funnel cakes…or tator twists…or, well you get the idea.

If you haven?t been, I encourage you to try it. If you?re like my 10-year-old self, don?t be afraid to try it again?you might be surprised and end up making the fair a tradition.

And parents, if you decide to let your young child tag along for the first time, go ahead and throw in a stroller?even if you?re bringing a 10-year-old. It would be an advantageous move.

See you Saturday at the fair!