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I remember when I was just a tyke, my mother read my sister and I Mother Goose stories. One in particular.

"The lights are so shiny - so bright and so gay. Heigh ho - come to the fair.”

There was excitement even then in those old stories about going to the fair.

The quality and quantity may have changed considerably, but the reason and excitement have never changed. My mind goes back to what an occasion it must have been for the “peasants” to come to the fair to display and sell their wares, to greet their friends and dine on “pasties” that were only made for such special events. It has been some time since I've gone to the Renaissance Fair, which gives memorable ideas of what going to the fair might have been.

My days are long gone since I was in the flurry of preparing exhibits for judging in the 4-H classes and the ribbons I might win, but the sights and sounds are still there — only more so.

It may well spell the end of summer with an accumulation of goods and deeds and projects completed to share with friends and neighbors, but it is a celebration of worth and, for many, a last hurrah before they prepare for the winter ahead.

Enjoying the fair through my granddaughter’s eyes recently brought back memories of my childhood at the fair. The merry go round"is still a standard, as may well be the Ferris wheel, but it is all fun and a little bit scary for some. Kids who haven't been responsible for caring for animals still enjoy the animals, especially the little baby animals, and the biggest circus animals getting the most attention.

Fair food is fair food. Its smells intermingle with the noise, making everyone hungry even if they are not, and the variety is almost endless.

Merchants are there with their wares, some the same and many updated. I hear them complain about their long and tiring hours on their feet at the fair and many of them go from fair to fair, but I sense an enjoyment as well.

"Heigh ho, come To The fair" -  because, yes, the bright lights are there.

You wonder why people ride the rides that make them scream, but that is part of the fun I guess. Of course, there is always the act of improbability.

The finest things from needlework to garden vegetables can be found at the fair, flowers and pictures to "ooh and ah" at, and entertainment in almost every corner of the fair in case you get bored when you stop to rest from the long trek around the grounds.

If you don't show horses, you usually know someone who does. That is exciting. We can't all own horses but we can all admire them. There are still chickens and ducks and geese, lamas, goats and sheep. One might see some exotic animals too, or animals that you don't often see, like camels and elephants.

I guess I will have to look for that old story book. I've gotten a little nostalgic and would like to read it again. I did manage to find one version of the song, "Heigh Ho, Come To The Fair," but there are many. All are appropriate and may be a favorite.

“The sun is a-rising to welcome the day. Heigh-ho, come to the fair.

The folk are a-singing so cheerful and gay. Heigh-ho, come to the fair.

All the stalls on the green are as fine as can be. With trinkets and treasures for you and for me.

So it’s come then, young folks and old, to the fair in the pride of the morning.

So deck yourselves out in your finest array, with a heigh-ho, come to the fair!

The fiddles are playing the song that you know, Heigh-ho! Come to the fair!

The drums are a-beating, come on now, let's go, Heigh-ho! Come to the fair!

There'll be racing and chasing from morning till night, and roundabouts turning to left and to right,

So it's come then, young folks and old to the fair in the pride of the morning

So lock up your house, there'll be plenty of fun, and it's heigh-ho! Come to the fair!”

Kids always look forward to Kids Day and many still enjoy seeing all the different animals, especially those in the kiddie barn. (Be sure you thoroughly wash your hands after your visit.) The old farmers also look forward to viewing the great tractor displays too, and we can't forget the visit to the visit to the Fish and Game Building. The women always enjoy seeing what other women make, bake and create.

Some go to the fair for the grandstand performances, while others enjoy just sitting and watching the various entertainment and events taking place, as well as meeting and seeing old friends. 

Bingo was and is still an old favorite among many and we can't forget the cotton candy, mini-doughnuts, caramel apples, salt water taffy and all the real dairy delights.

Oh, my, I almost forgot the real lemonade.

Heigh, Ho, Come To The Fair.

— — —

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, August 21st: Lori Moon, Avery Hullopeter, Abriana Harris, Scott Tracy, Larry Klocek, Viola Klocek, Dawn Dobberstein, Mary Richards, Cindy Anderson, Roger Johnson, Sara Degan Misgen, Jodie Lee, Jaden Jensen, Cody Lembke, Michael Olson, Jasmine Obermoller Evans, David & Cindy Callahan

• Friday, August 22nd: Thayne & Becky Nordland, Ava Moon, Julie Johnson, Kyle Wallerich, La Donna Cummins Fallen, John Butler, John Glynn, Diane Butler, Dale Kelly, Aaron Ladlie, Dale Kelly, Nancy TaBelle

• Saturday, August 23rd: Jessica Lutgens, Jared Dawson Lee, Logan Dale Marzolf, Terry Holland, Ann Klemmensen, Matthew Knudson, Steve Wilker, Scott Wright, Quinn Vu, Vernon & Jeanne Simonson, Amy & Marshall Svoboda

• Sunday, August 24th: Rick Storlie, Michelle Gowlland, Nicholas Chrisensen, Sam Worrell, Tanya Hughes, Natalie Deml, Elizah Lee Ackland, Crystal Johnson, Terry Vaith, Jeff Kycek, LaNell Leak Sunde, Corey Peterson, Mary Edon, Alex Mutch, Ralph & Cheryl Dobberstein, John & Cindy Christensen

• Monday, August 25th: Chloe Lynn Muilenberg, Carl Glienke Jr., Evelyn Anderson, Renee Brandt, Ted Dahl, Jayme Hohansee, Craig Kammerer, Jessica Kubat, Pete Rietveld, Mary Larson, Melissa Peterson, Jim & Lynn Arends, Mark & Deb Killesheim, Deb & Jim Bohnoff, Rachel & Michael Grunklee, Leah & Dama Clark, Everett & Linda Lang

• Tuesday, August 26th: William Michael Rodney Tuttle, Christopher Cook, Clarice Pence, Catherine Haugen, Mike Riley, Elijah Lee Ackland, Catherine Mae Haugen, Tim Falksen, George Stieglbauer, Michael Rodney Tuttle, Sharon Peterson, Travis & Kelly Johnson, Angie & Michael Den Herder

• Wednesday, August 27th: Martin Johnson, Kory Kress, Alice Randall, Sandra Thostenson, Dee Ann Jensen, Jim Collins, Mary Lageson, Sharon Ramaker, Terry Pelzl, Angela DeGeus, Jessica Marie Nygaard Paulson, Corlyn & Janice Paulsen

Wherever this year takes you, may you find happiness along the way.

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