Monday, August 11, 2008

Boulder County Fair

It has been about four months since I wrote on this blog - my ambivalence about working turned into putting in my best effort and spending my down time catching up with my crew.

But as I drove past the Boulder County Fair yesterday, already three quarters of the way taken down, I was drawn to putting down a few thoughts.

The county fair is a timekeeper, especially for our family. This is our 5th or 6th time, but it has been at least a year since we've gone. The folks at the fair got smart and decided to return the fair to its roots, cut out the parking and admission fees, so we could go every day without having to take out a loan. I remember sipping lattes at Caffe Luna and holding her tight as the huge longhorn bull came down the street. Or of the two years we went when she was toddler and her fear of the ponies. Now she is almost too big to ride them. I looked at the families with babies and laughed in remembering bringing our own when they were in strollers - what were we thinking?

The fair was not about reaching back to some relic of a time, but of the vibrant now that is our town. Of the stunning hispanic dancers, old and young, in their blinding colors and precise footwork, even managing to tie the red bow despite the concrete ground.

This year, it was about the kind of life the fair represents - a life deeply rooted in the earth, raising animals and crops, kids beaming with pride when I asked them about their animal they'd entered into the 4-H contests. My own kids overflowing with excitement, not about rides or toys, but about the goats, sheep, pigs, cows, chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits and the horses! They shyly entered the corral area after the barrel racing and stroked the horses, they patiently waited after the ballet on horseback to meet the riders.

Kudos to the Boulder County Fair - not only did you bring the fair back to its roots, but you brought the town of Longmont back to our roots as well.