Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 18, 2013

Head out to the 4-H fair and have some fun


— We can almost taste the elephant ears and hear the sirloin tips sizzling. Against a dietitian’s best advice, we may even take a stroll past the fried cheese booth.

The staff at The Goshen News is looking forward to lunch. More specifically, we anticipate dining at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. While we’re there, we plan to take stock of what the fair has to offer besides food — in other words, we’ll be busy.

Come with us out to the fairgrounds, located just east of Goshen along C.R. 34. You’re bound to have some fun.

The opening ceremony for the fair takes place Friday morning, followed by a veterans’ recognition program and the Senior Queen Pageant. What comes next? Nine days of a community treasure that’s both a local and regional draw.

A key reason the fair has been successful is the focus on the 4-H in its title. This is the learn-by-doing program with projects galore. Our local 4-H’ers do everything from displaying their photos to leading big, bulky steers around a show arena. In the process, they learn time management skills and a work ethic that will serve them well.

The fair is also a musical showcase. And in keeping with tradition, organizers have put together a concert line-up featuring young country music performers on their way up the success ladder.

This year, Florida Georgia Line and Hunter Hayes fit that bill. The renowned Vince Gill will also take to the grandstand stage during fair week, along with Christian music standout Jason Crabb and the packed-with-hits Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

What else is there to see at the fair? The short list includes a strongman (and women) contest, hot-air balloon chases, rodeo shows and a truck and tractor pull — all that and your friends and neighbors, too.

Fairs don’t just happen as if by magic, and many people deserve their community’s thanks for making Elkhart County’s showcase a success. These include the hardworking Extension Service and fair staffers, plus the nearly 125 fair board members whose behind-the-scenes efforts keep the fair fine-tuned and running, year after year.

The 2013 Elkhart County 4-H Fair opens Friday. See you there.