The theme for the just completed Plymouth County Fair is "The Best Five Days of Summer." This year's edition of the fair set two new attendance records -- one for the entire fair, another for one day attendance.
This year's edition of the fair broke a record set four years ago. The 2009 fair attracted 92,500 people, besting 2005's record of 91,200. The ideal weather on Saturday set up another record breaking attendance. Saturday, 23,500 attended the fair, besting 2005's Saturday total of 20,500.
The fair has a tried and true recipe for success: a strong 4-H program, excellent facilities for vendors and exhibitors, a solid carnival, good family entertainment, support of the communities in the county and an entire army of dedicated volunteers that do whatever it takes to make the fair a success.
The fair board, 4-H leaders and the ISU Extension office all do their work so well that it sometimes seems as if the fair one day materializes and a week later vanishes, only to reappear next year.
Well, even if it seems that it occurs that way, it doesn't actually happen without a great deal of planning, cooperation and hard work. A side effect of all of this effort is a great deal of fun for people of all ages.
At its best, a county fair is a snapshot of the present day, with glimpses of the past and the promise of the future. The Plymouth County fair lives up to these expectations time and time again.
Among the reasons for the fair's success is the participation and support of the community, from the attendance of residents to the participation of so many service organizations and clubs to the ecumenical church services held at the fairgrounds. There is a very real and palpable feeling of pride and ownership in the fair and the way of life it represents.
As the fair fades from our memories, we hope that everyone will remember the five best days of summer and just how wonderful our fair, community and state can be at these times of celebration.
A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped make this year's fair a success. We are already looking forward to next year!