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Sue's Views -- County fair just can't be outdone

The Ferris wheel, mini-donuts, flat iron sandwiches, log-rolling, cotton candy and barns full of likeable-looking livestock. Yep, I'm looking forward to the Stevens County Fair.

And it couldn't come soon enough.

At a time when you're just not sure what today's news will bring, it's both a comfort and sensation to know that for the next five days, you can go to the Stevens County Fair and there will be bright, energetic children leading freshly groomed animals into pens, much the same as many of their parents did 20 years ago. Or that the Homemakers building will be filled with brilliant flowers and intricately-patterned quilts and awesome goodies. Or that you'll run into someone you know but haven't seen in awhile at the beer garden.

The fair is one of those truly unique experiences. It is new every year but familiar at the same time. Sure, the Ferris wheel has been part of the midway for as long as I can remember, but how can you forget your first ride? Or when you took your children for their first ride and looked at your hometown from the top? Or the first, last and only time you rode the Starship 2000 and how long it took before your stomach finally stopped spinning? You just can't get that kind of rush from Wii bowling.

Sure, they hand out blue ribbons every year, but is this the year when you'll win one? My little girl learned to knit just so she could have one more thing to enter in the Open Class. Entering is just the beginning of the adventure. There's also the thrill of finding your project once the judging is done and the excitement of seeing a ribbon on it. Better still, you get to run all over the fairgrounds to find friends and relatives to share the news.

The best part of the exhibits for me is looking at all of the photo entries. Where else could you see so many happy, shining faces, catch a glimpse of a family's special events and view beautiful scenes from throughout the county?

The crowds are always something to behold. We are spoiled in this part of the world. A traffic jam is nearly unheard of and long lines at the checkout are a subjective thing. But nearly all of the county is on display at the fair, participating in the tradition of our collective pride. There is no finer people-watching to be done than at the fair.

A few years ago, the fairboard added fireworks to the schedule. Who can help but be amazed when the whole sky lights up and for just a couple minutes, everyone stops to look up?

This year, especially, with so many free events and performances, the Stevens County Fair is one of your best entertainment values. This is possible only because of the generosity, commitment and hard work of countless volunteers and local businesses who work hard to make these events available at little or no cost. They are to be commended for their service and donations. Many thanks as well to the Stevens County Board of Commissioners for supporting the fair.

The Stevens County Fair is a delicious slice of Americana that will fill both your belly and your heart.