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County fairs an important part of summer

Fairs have also become a stage for local talent. From daily concerts for bands and performers, “living the dream,” to talent search competitions for all ages, fairs give kids and adults alike a chance to step into the spotlight in a fun and family-friendly arena.

At the same time, we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to thank all of those who make these events possible. A lot of times, all fair boards and fair leaders hear is negativity, but we want to commend them for the work they do. While the lay person only sees what happens the couple days before the fair opens through the few days past closing, members of local fair boards and agricultural societies start planning for their week of events almost as soon as the gates close. In Essex County, organizers were talking about midway and fair date options for 2014 two days before the 2013 fair ended.

It’s a lot of hard work to find the perfect fit of carnival, entertainment and attractions at the right price, and it seems the only time anyone speaks up is when — in their opinion — that fit is not right.

Not us. We want to thank you all for making the summer a little more fun for everyone at prices that are much more reasonable then any other venues can offer. Your hard work and dedication to your county and those you serve is sincerely appreciated.

We can’t let this editorial end without a quick word out to the Essex County Board of Supervisors. We’ve heard the rumblings about shuttering the 165-year-old fair and they are quite concerning. The Essex County Fair is vital to the core of what makes Essex County a rich tradition of agriculture and conservation. Many people have sacrificed hours, blood, sweat and personal funds to make the fairgrounds and fair what it is today. It’s a tradition that needs to be embraced, not used as a political chip. It should be an event organizations like the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) promote and support financially as it is part of the region they represent as the county tourism advocate. Let us speak for many who would tell you, we want this fair, we need this fair.

So to all, get out and enjoy some time at the fair — any fair — and thank those who work so hard to make them possible.

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