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Jefferson County Fair still special

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 once again this week at Friendship Park in Smithfield, one that continues to help bridge the gap between country living and city life.

“Bright Lights, Country Nights: The Best of Both Worlds” has been chosen as this year’s theme by its organizers, another reminder that 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 motocross, a classic car show, a demolition derby and a mud bogg.

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 plenty of that through the week, and if you want to support area cheerleaders, their annual competition is set for Tuesday. There’s a rodeo set for Wednesday. And Saturday features the annual parade and the livestock sale.

Looking just to unwind? 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 aspect of the fair — it still offers a chance to relax a little, spend 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 board, the efforts of 4-H 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.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of the late Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. Abdalla, who served as sheriff for more than 37 years and was a longtime supporter of the fair, died Feb. 21 at the age of 77.

Opening ceremonies will be held Monday, and events will come to an end next Sunday. We hope you’ll attend.

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