For the first time in my 51 years, I can say I attended every day of the Warren County Fair. This includes the weekend leading up to the rides arriving, meaning I was there, at some point, for nine days.
Now, my perfect attendance wasn’t for pure entertainment. As a matter of fact, for the first time in many years, I didn’t even bother riding a ride. Instead, I was there to either provide video coverage for the tons of pageants and shows, or to park cars for the Exchange Club.
By the way, go the Standard's multi media section and check out the numerous video programs I’ve uploaded from the fair. They are free to view even if you aren’t a subscriber. You can even watch them on your smartphone.
With that being said, this year marked another first for fair week – it stayed hot the entire time. In years past, you could mark the changing of seasons, from summer to fall, by when the fair arrives. It’s been the same since I was a little kid.
The week would start out warm, or even hot and would conclude with chilling temperatures. I’m used to seeing people in shorts at the fair on Monday and bundled up in coats when they shut the fair down Saturday night. Usually I see kids at the school Olympics wrapped in blankets and clad in coats on Friday morning. This year was the exception. It stayed Africa hot. Maybe global warming is real.
The heat never broke. It beat down mercilessly as I was parking cars across the street from the fair. It was so bad that when it came a pouring rain Wednesday afternoon, I didn’t bother seeking shelter. I just stayed out in it and cooled down, although I paid for it later, walking around in wet clothes on a hot day. You can get a mean chaffing that way.
While the persistent heat was unusual, the fact it did rain was nothing new. Everyone knows it rains during fair week. I don’t care if we’re in the middle of a drought, it will always come a soaking rain during the second full week of September. Having the fair is better than a rain dance if you want the skies to open up.
Something else that was the same as it was in past fairs was the gas panic that began last week with the rupture of the fuel pipeline in Alabama. People ignored warnings about panicking and swarmed the gas stations.
This, in turn, drove up prices and left several gas stations, especially ones toward Nashville, without gas. The worst thing you can do to cause a panic is tell people not to panic.
This year’s panic comes just a few years after a rumor began circulating at the fair, the night of the Fairest of the Fair pageant, that gas was going up to $5 a gallon. People panicked and by the next morning, there was barely a drop of gas left in Warren County. The rumor proved to be untrue.
It’s funny how some things never change.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.