We are well into the planning phase for 2020.
169 years – all in the rearview mirror. 1851 – the first time that our hearty ancestors got together to put on the Springfield Fair. There are no clear records indicating whether or not it was located at the current site. We believe/assume that it was. We have copies of old receipts for the lumber used to build the grandstand (still being used) in the 1890’s. Hopefully, she’ll still be humming along in 2051. I’ll be 90 then …. hopefully. And the world will undoubtedly be a far different place than we have now.
While not wanting to forget our history, we must move on. Although vastly different from our fair of 10-15 years ago, the 2019 version was fun. Only one day long but action packed and entertaining. We had a couple thousand Springfield Fair die-hards with us this past Labor Day Weekend. Motor sports ruled the day with a generous sprinkling of events for the younger crowd. As there are few working farms in our area, our livestock offering was more modest than in recent years. But we did have a nice mix of “petting type” critters on hand.
We are well into the planning phase for 2020. Still, I try to find a carnival willing to support our area – without having to sell the kid’s toys to pay for it. As seems to be a continuing trend among many of the State’s agricultural fairs, we struggle to find a working balance between agricultural and historical shows and the immediate gratification of today’s electronic age needed by many in this “modern age”…. (translation kids and many older folks gotta have their phones). What happened to the days when the entire family would go to the fair, strolling through the livestock area, taking in the homemade items of the exhibit hall, visiting with friends and family and then turning the kids loose to raise a bit of mischief – only to meet later on for a picnic lunch? Ahh, I’m showing my age. I have been told, regularly, that I live too much in the past. Ayuh. Guilty. What would happen if we slooooowed down a bit and pulled a Hilary Clinton…? Busting up all the cell phones. And there are those who think that I am too political… heh heh heh Anyways. We are trying, once again, to hire a carnival. We are in ongoing discussions and are hoping, but our hopes are not high. If we are able to find a carnival we will need to go back to a three day fair. If not, we will continue on with one good day. Either way, we should know by early February if our efforts are successful. We anticipate having a few more of the interactive type of events for kids in 2020. They were quite popular this year and fun too. From Youth Woodsman’s Day to Oreo cookie stacking, we would like to have more of the younger crowd involved. As always, if any of you have questions, comments, complaints or suggestions – contact us through our website or Facebook.
As you may or may not be aware, we also had six weddings, a concert and a circus at the fairgrounds this past summer. And we have already booked three weddings and a circus for 2020. The fairgrounds remains a popular spot with kids coming to ride their bikes around the track and older folks swinging by for a leisurely walk or picnic. We like to see it used and appreciated. We are also working diligently to find a musical artist to perform next summer. If we are able to entice someone to come play for us, we’ll announce it immediately. Before I close, I’d like to appeal to the person who borrowed the axle nut off one of our antique horse drawn wagons. Those two wagons were donated to the fair by longtime friends of my grandparents and we are quite proud to be the new caretakers. I know that someone had an immediate need for the nut and probably forgot to return it. Please, as time allows, drop it off in front of one of our ticket booths. Thank you.
And now it’s time for me to close and continue to work towards my 30 year dream of having Garth Brooks come and perform at the Springfield Fairgrounds. (If anyone has a country music connection – let me know. I’m not afraid to beg!) We thank you, our loyal patrons, and incredibly supportive sponsors for being with us through thick and thin. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve such an incredible area with its amazing people. See ya in 2020. Happy Thanksgiving!
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