Fair season seems like it’s so far away.  We wouldn’t think it would be impacted by coronavirus concerns and, yet.  I’m being told both Twin Falls County and Cassia County Fairs may be cancelled long before late summer.  In fact, I would wager many neighboring fairs could also fall victim this year.

Planning needs to take place well in advance and if we still have periodic virus outbreaks, you can see the cause for cancellations.  In our litigious culture I’m not surprised.

The young people who spend all year preparing to show animals have poured their hearts and souls into their efforts.

Here’s what worries me.  For many not-for-profit and charitable causes, fairs are major fundraisers.  I know from personal experience, it’s the biggest fundraiser for Council 1416 of the Knights of Columbus in Twin Falls.  It may be as well for the K of C in Buhl.  Many other churches participate and organizations such as 4-H look forward to the opportunity.

Then there are the spillover economic benefits in host communities.  The large crowds that come to the rodeos buy gasoline and meals and some spend a night.

The young people who spend all year preparing to show animals have poured their hearts and souls into their efforts.  It’s about discipline and patience and this year we might add heartbreak.

I also recall my experiences as a boy.  My family wasn’t rolling in cash.  The fair was like Christmas in summer.  We could earn a few dollars around the neighborhood and then spend it along the midway.  Then we would spend the next 12 months thinking about our next spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl or the Paratrooper.  When my daughter was little, it was an even bigger experience for me when I saw the smile on her face.

We’ve recently given up so much of what makes life worth living.  Let’s not lose our fairs!

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