County fair season is upon us

County fair season has arrived.

It’s the time of year when fairgrounds around the region come alive with the smells of elephant ears and cotton candy. It’s a chance for area young people to show off their barnyard animals and to recognize our region’s farming heritage, artisanship, craftiness in the kitchen, agricultural expertise and good old American fun.

Harrison County kicked off the season last week. Next up is the Carroll County Fair, which will be held July 17-22 in Carrollton. The highlight of that event will be a concert by country music star Jo Dee Messina at 7 p.m. July 21.

The Jefferson County Fairgrounds will come to life Aug. 14-19, when the Jefferson County Fair is held for the 147th time. The crowning of the fair’s royalty and opening ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. Aug. 13. Among the highlights will be the annual cheerleading competition on Aug. 15, a motocross on Aug. 16, a rooster crowing contest on Aug. 17 and a truck pull on Aug. 18. Aug 19 will feature the annual fair parade, a motorcycle cruise-in and bike show and the annual livestock sale.

Fairs in Brooke and Hancock counties will be held in September.

Brooke Hills Park will again be the site of the Brooke County Fair, which will be held Sept. 7-9, and organizers say this year’s event will include amusement rides, a demolition derby, truck mud bog, historical re-enactors and a variety of food and live entertainment.

The following weekend — Sept. 14-16 — will see the return of the Hancock County Oldtime Fair at Tomlimson Run State Park in New Manchester. It’s more reflective of more old-fashioned community events, with no large rides and attractions. Instead, it features local food and craft vendors, a variety of contests, live music and exhibits from area organizations. Among the traditional highlights is the Barnyard Olympics.

Each of the fairs offers young people to show the results of the countless hours they put into their projects. They also are a showcase to 4-H leaders and many volunteers who work to ensure the projects are quality learning experiences.

County fairs help connect the past with the present, and offer something good for just about everyone.