I can't help it, the fair is one of the highlights of my year. It is one of those touchstones, like picking out the Christmas tree, when you say "has it already been a year since....?". Well our county fair is the oldest in Ohio 192 years, I believe I have been there for 51 of those. My parents brought us out as kids. It was our Summer vacation- where else are you taking 7 kids on a teacher's salary? None-the-less it is in my blood. I participated as a child in horse 4-H, but never ventured into entering anything else. With my kids we did the horse thing for sure, but also entered photos, baked goods, and Lego creations, my husband even a director for a time. Oh, and let's not forget every high school kid's dream- the Junior Fair Band! It is one of the only ones in the country and is actually quite good; talk about "pulling teeth"! I know it is cliché to talk about the benefits of getting back to basics, but what my family gained from being involved in those activities is immeasurable. I'm sure that a lot of you have stories about what helped to form who you are as a human being. I feel that being involved with animals on any level, instills a whole host of positive character traits that are hard to get anywhere else. Whether you started riding in front of your Dad as an infant, or came to it later in life, let us consider it a gift to be able to share our lives with our animals!