Jefferson County fair an annual rite

While the speed of our lives seems to increase with each passing day, it’s reassuring to know there are some traditions that help to connect what was good about days past with what’s good from today.

Count the Jefferson County Fair in that group. It’s a good, old-fashioned piece of Americana that will be renewed for the 146th time this week at Friendship Park in Smithfield, one that continues to help bridge the gap between country living and city life.

Labeled the “Happy Fair” by its organizers, the fair is one of those increasingly rare events that truly offers something for just about everyone.

You can find animals of all sorts, from hamsters and guinea pigs to the largest horses and steers.

If motorized events are more to your liking, there are truck and tractor pulls, a monster truck show, a classic car show and demolition derbies — with cars and lawn mowers.

You’ll find the best fruits and vegetables area farmers have to offer, as well as the top baked goods and crafts.

There’s the chance to see the pride in the faces of area youngsters who receive awards for the animals they have raised or the projects they have finished.

If you’re looking to enjoy music, there will be a performance by local favorite Ron Retzer Friday evening, and if you want to support area cheerleaders, their annual competition is set for Wednesday.

And, if you just want to relax a little, you can take a stroll down the midway, treat yourself to some fair food or maybe even enjoy an amusement ride.

That’s an important thing about the fair — it still offers a chance to relax, enjoy some quality time with friends and family and catch a glimpse of the good things our area has to offer.

It would not be possible for the event to continue without a strong fair board and a dedicated corps of volunteers who work throughout the year to ensure the fair maintains the quality area residents have come to expect.

They are to be commended for their tireless efforts.

Opening ceremonies will be held Monday night, and this year’s fair will run Tuesday through next Sunday. We hope you’ll attend.