Fall fair presents a trip down memory lane

    This year marks the 107th annual Emo and District Fall Fair. My first recollection of the fair probably dates back to a point when I was seven and my brother was five. That point sticks in my mind because we went with my father and my mother stayed home. I presume it was to look after our baby sister.
    For Don and myself, it was our first trip to the fair and even today, in my mind it plays as the biggest midway that I ever visited. My father must have taken part of Friday afternoon off from work and using his father’s car, we went to Emo. We knew that we were going to stay up past our bed times and that made the trip even more special.
    The three of us sat abreast in the front seat of the Oldsmobile.
    As I get older, I keep thinking that the grounds keep shrinking. There was so much to see and so much to do. Dad seemed to know everyone and stopped frequently to talk with strangers while we hung close to him.  
    The fair experience began under the old grandstands, and we were assaulted by the smell of chickens. I remember being introduced to Mr. French, who I was reintroduced to many years after, still showing off his laying hens and winning ribbons.
    We walked through the barns with pens of sows, nursing their piglets, and other barns with heifers and steers. We were in barns with horses. It seemed that the barns stretched forever, and we had to wait forever to get on the rides.
    Supper was corn on the cob, a hamburger and a bottle of Coke from the 4-H booth. That was a real treat. And then we stopped at a booth that was serving up ice cream cones.
    There were more people than I could count and we held on tight to my dad’s hands. There was no end to the number of rides that were there. I still remember going on the ferris wheel, high up over the grounds and looking around. It must have been getting dark because the lights of the booths and rides shone.
    My memory tells me we spent hours at the fair and on the rides. And I can remember leaving much later than expected because we did drive home in darkness. We couldn’t stay for the nighttime grandstand activities.
    I know that many of the memories are faulty. However, much remains the same, The fair still is an agriculture showcase where one can see the best of cattle in the district, good crops, great needle work and the best of baking. And for young people, there’s the excitement of rides.
    The fair continues its tradition of people meeting people, renewing friendships and showing off new family. The midway, although not as big as my memory thinks it was, is still popular and a great fun introduction to all sorts of sounds and lights.  
    For years afterwards, when summer arrived, I could hardly wait to go back to the fair. That first night was contagious and compels me to return.  
    The agriculture fair continues to do many things right. It is part of the culture and good experiences of the district and at 107 years, is the great grand father of attractions here.

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