This past weekend, the Great Geauga County Fairgrounds was transformed from a big open lot into a small village of shops and livestock and exhibit barns bustling with people and furry creatures. Fair time is that bittersweet week where we all know that summer is drawing to a close, kids are heading back to school, and fall is just around the corner. I drive by the fairgrounds every day now, and I love watching the transformation that occurs. You see, I’ve walked every inch of the fairgrounds over the past 20 years, and each spot holds sweet memories of years gone by. Both my childhood, as a saggy jean-wearing punk, and now with my own family are memories that I have made and I continue to make.
I guess the thing that I like the best about the fair is the orchestra of sights and smells that greets me long before I reach the main gate. Walking down from the center of Burton, I can hear the announcer rattling off the upcoming events through that old crackling PA system, and as I cross Cook Street, the warm smell of livestock and fried food greets my nose and my rumbling belly. By the time I reach the top of the fairgrounds by the arts and crafts building, I’m fully immersed in the moment, and I’m ready to disappear into the mass of food, people, and animals.
What’s your favorite part of the fair?
It’s hard for me to really pin down the best exhibit or the best event, but I do remember the friends and family that I’ve taken there with me. Sometimes, as life hustles us forward, it’s easy to lose track of the people and times that mean so much to us. I know for me, the demands of life are very real and somewhat inescapable. That’s why I like to mark out times in my week and moments in the year that I can save for memory-making. The fair is a great place to make memories.
If you’ve never been there before, plan to go! If you haven’t been there in years, come back! Whatever you do, remember to bring someone that you love there, and take the time you may not have had before to tell them how much you care about them. You don’t have to yell it over the PA system for that statement to resound clearly in their life and make a huge difference for them.
Go make a memory at the fair this year.