It's so easy to get caught up in our hectic lives that we often forget to slow down and enjoy the things that are around us.
That's why it's important that traditions like the county fair remain very much alive.
A good, old-fashioned piece of Americana, the Jefferson County Fair, will be held for the 142nd time this week. While the site has changed over the years, the fair, now held at Friendship Park in Smithfield, continues to connect days gone by with the present.
There's something for just about everyone at the fair.
If your interest is in gardening, you'll be able to see the best local gardens have to offer.
Animals of all sizes and breeds will be on display, from hamsters through giant cattle.
There will be truck and tractor pulls, a mud bogg and the annual bike night.
Music is a staple of the late-summer event and this year's fair will feature plenty of music, including concerts by local favorite the Joseph Sisters and Phil Dirt and the Dozers and a performance by Rose Angelica.
There's also the annual cheerleading competition and cookie decorating contest, and, what many consider to be the highlights of the event, the annual parade around the fairgrounds and livestock auction, both of which are scheduled to be held Saturday.
If you're just looking for an opportunity relax, you can stroll along the midway, enjoy fair food or take a spin on one of the amusement rides.
It all begins at 5 p.m. Monday with the opening ceremonies.
Despite all of the changes since the first Jefferson County Fair was held in the 1870s, it's nice to know that the fair offers now what it offered then - the chance to relax, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the best that our area has to offer. That's reflected in this year's theme, "Where dreams are made."
That continued success is a tribute to the hard-working members of the fair board and countless volunteers, who annually give of their time and talents.
We hope you'll make the trip to Smithfield this week and to enjoy the old-fashioned fun you'll find at the Jefferson County Fair.