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Alas? Fair Time Again
By Naiesha Thobe

County News Online wants your thoughts and observations about the Great Darke County Fair. Send them to the editor here.

You'd be hard pressed to find a seventeen year old who's not excited for the Great Darke County Fair. Granted, I am not that teenager... the fair loses its luster after so many years, don't you think?

I can remember when I was really young - my dad brought home a life-sized stuffed tiger through one of the many games. I don't particularly remember that year at fair, or the game, but I remember the tiger.

Later on, there was a game where you could win Ty Beanie Babies. They'd always been a favorite of mine (and some will probably always be, whether I'm young or old). We had loitered around the tent in hopes of winning the Fetcher the retriever, Hodge-Podge the randomly colored dog, or maybe that Kooky bird...

And then in the early teens - I walked out of the fair with a gigantic Spongebob plushie to call my own. I can remember how I felt carrying around the big overstuffed prize with my companions at the fair. Good memories, good memories...

It's all fun and good when you're young.

Or, maybe, considering my standpoint here, I should say younger. Once you grow out of the stuffed animal stage, unless you have little ones of your own, most of the games are pointless to play. Bragging rights are always up for grabs - "Oh, I popped more balloons than you did!" or maybe "Look at my little stuffed dog, don't you wish you had one?"

... But it's not something I would want to brag over.

Not to say that all games are bad. There are some prizes that can be won that are for the teens and up - scooters, blankets, pillows, even money. I'm not dissing on the games at all; they're quite enjoyable for the younger people (and the young at heart). I'll be playing... but not for the average stuffed dog.

There are also the rides. These are more diverse for ages, fun for all. So, maybe not the Merry-Go-Round for a 27 year old, and not Pharoah's Fury for a toddler, but you understand. Brave of heart fairgoers are treated to their thrill, while the more laid back can chill out on the slow moving ones. You won't find me on the Screamer, that's for sure, but look for me at the top of the Ferris Wheel...

While I say the fair loses its luster, one thing will never dull: the food. It's always going to be a highlight at the fair. Fiske fries, Black Forest funnel cakes, sugar waffles, caramel apples, cotton candy, Mint Chocolate Chip Dippin' Dots... Oh, sorry, did I just leave my 'Fair Food Shopping List' there? Heh...

Entertainment is great, too. The bands at the gazebo, the concert, the people. You could be amused by just walking around the fairgrounds for an hour or so, and that's what makes the Darke County Fair so great. Even if you don't fancy the games, or the food, you can almost always be sure to find some sort of laugh waiting for you through the hustle and bustle.

But, why do I say alas? All I've mentioned is good. It's praise. And I do praise the fair - I won't be staying at home, for sure.

I say alas because fair time reminds me that school is just around the corner. This is my Senior year, so I shouldn't complain, but school is school. Fair time reminds me that I have summer homework that I need to be finishing up, but who's motivated to work on school material when you could be on a helicopter ride over the fairgrounds? I say alas because it's back to 9 - 5 (7:45 - 2:45, actually) in workbooks and information. It's losing our freedom to sleep until... until 3 p.m. the next day if you so wished.

It's reminding us Homecoming is just around the corner, that we better gear up the football team, go shopping, and find a date for the dance.

It's reminding us that Christmas will be here soon - count your pennies and save them; you're going to need them for Christmas shopping this year.

It's reminding us that 2011 is drawing to a close, that New Year's will be here soon, and that 2012 will be greeting us all too soon.

So, yes, alas, fair time... But maybe it's not really such a bad thing after all, hmm?

I'd love to hear anyone's account on the fair - a good memory, a bad memory, something you miss, something you want, why you like/dislike the fair... It's open for conversation, so why not write a short article for us here at CNO? You have my opinion - now I would like to hear yours. To send YOUR thoughts, click here.


 
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