Column: Freeborn County Fair: The 6 best days of summer

Published 10:08 pm Monday, July 24, 2017

My Point of View, By Ebenezer Howe

In just a week, the fair will be underway.

Ebenezer Howe

This year will be traumatic for the Freeborn County Republican Party. It’s the first year since the 1930s that we have not had our fair booth under the Grandstand. We are forced out into the cold cruel world of the Fairlane Community Building, complete with air conditioning. Please stop by and visit us in this once-in-a-lifetime change of location. Next year, if the renovations to the bathrooms and roof leaks are complete, we will be back at our preferred location under the Grandstand, where you can really hear the entertainment when the Grandstand show starts in the evening.

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When meeting with the fair board folks following their decision to not allow booths under the Grandstand this year, I asked one of the board members if they had petitioned the state government for some bonding dollars for the project. I could tell by his glare that he did not think that comment was as funny as I did. We do certainly hope the rejuvenation project is completed by next year, so we can return to our old homestead. We also hope the negative impact on merchandizers who have always been with us under the Grandstand is not so great that they choose not to return to our six best days of summer.

Number 39, on page 96, of the 134th annual fair book in the location finder map, is the Fairlane Community Building, right across from the 4-H Exhibit Building, Floral Hall, Conservation Building and Commercial Building and also right next to the old tractors on display. So, after you have taken in the exhibits in those building(s), there is no reason not to stop by and visit with the Freeborn County Republican Party for a bit, and take part in this year’s corn poll, where we will be voting on your favorite announced candidate for governor and attorney general. State level races are as important, or more, than the federal races.

Peggy Bennett, House District 27A representative, will be at the booth, as often as her schedule will allow, between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily. Other candidates may drop by as their schedules permit.

You would be correct, based on my dress attire, if you guessed that the horse shows are my favorite events to watch, and there are four days of them this year. New are farm class hitches at 11 a.m. Aug. 2. This should be interesting watching. Horses will be used more like they were used prior to the introduction of the tractor. But my favorite is standing close to the arena fence when 6 tons of draft horses go past on trot — the ground just shakes.

A very close second, if not tied for first, is watching any of the 4-H livestock shows. I like watching the very proud parents and grandparents as much as the animals and seeing a young Cloverbud learn the ropes of showing from a parent or older sibling.

At least once during the fair, in the cattle barn, I find a place next to a show box or currently empty stall and just stand and watch the 4-Hers take care of their animals — it truly is the best six days of summer.

Some folks come just for the food. That is not a bad idea for coming to the fair, but you should plan on gaining a pound or two. I always try at least one new thing each year but now am at the point that I do not have the stomach capacity for everything that tastes good. Notice that I did not use “that is good for you.”

The Freeborn County Republican Party holds our summer picnic the second Monday following the fair (that will be Aug. 14 this year.) You can sign up for the picnic when you stop by our booth in the cool air conditioned Fairlane Community Building. The building also has restrooms for your comfort and convenience.

Remember, Aug. 1-6 are the Best Six Days of Summer, the Freeborn County Fair.

Alden resident Ebenezer Howe is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the local party members.