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Be sure to attend the Hamilton County Fair

This event is a highlight of summer

Times change. Even so there are a few constants in life. One is the pleasure provided by the county fairs that continue to be a highlight of summer in the Hawkeye State.

For as far back as anyone who now lives in this part of Iowa can remember, these summer festivals have been much-anticipated and much-enjoyed features of summertime.

The fairs, of course, have changed over the decades. One central theme, however, remains much the same – a celebration of farm life and the assorted positive educational and personal-growth pursuits that are treasured features of life in rural and small-town Iowa.

The Hamilton County Fair begins Tuesday and continues through Sunday on the fairgrounds at 1200 Bluff St. in Webster City.

It is more than just 4-H and FFA events, but the central focus of much that transpires at the fair is a celebration of the hard work 4-H’ers and FFA members have put forth on a wide array of projects during the last year. The fair affords 4-H’ers and FFA members well-deserved opportunities to showcase their endeavors. For some, it is the culmination of the year’s efforts. For others, it is one stop on the way to the Iowa State Fair.

Anyone who has taken a careful look at contemporary 4-H can’t help but be impressed by the breadth of the projects 21st-century 4-H promotes. Some would be familiar to fairgoers of the past. The assorted agricultural and handicraft projects, though reflecting much new knowledge and science, certainly have roots in fairs of yesteryear. Other projects, exhibits and events illustrate the needs and interests of young people in this rapidly changing world and are far removed from yesterday’s pursuits. FFA, similarly, has a distinctly 21st-century focus.

For county fairs to remain a vibrant part of contemporary life, they must change to reflect society. And they have.

That means there is a lot more at the fair besides the 4-H and FFA projects.

Other highlights of this year’s Hamilton County Fair include the annual parade through downtown Webster City to the fairgrounds. It will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday. At 8 p.m. Tuesday, there will be a free concert by the Vinyl Vagabonds. The fair queen coronation is 6 p.m. Thursday in the grandstand arena. A free concert by Brad Morgan will follow. Then on Friday the Amped Up Pro Bull Riding show will fill the grandstand arena. More adrenaline-packed action is set for Sunday when the Eve of Destruction demolition derby and trailer races will be held.

Plan to join your neighbors at the fair. You’ll be glad you did.

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