Gardner Edgerton Chamber
It’s time for the Johnson County Fair.
For years, kids from Prairie Village to Edgerton and Leawood to De Soto have been showcasing the finest animals, produce, crafts and culinary treasures at the Johnson County Fair. It’s a time when rural meets city. An opportunity for children of all ages and backgrounds to explore an agricultural past that is often forgotten in today’s world of iPads and Pokemons. The fair is where the past meets the future.
Did you know that county fairs in the United States can trace their roots back over 200 years? Originally known as an “agricultural fair”, these competitions consisted of exhibits of animals and later domestic produce. The first fair in Johnson County took place in the late 1850s, but it wasn’t until 1940 when the fair made its home in Gardner.
Just like fairs across the country, the Johnson County Fair has evolved from being heavily focused on agriculture to now providing a myriad of entertainment (along with the requisite agricultural exhibits). Whether you come to the fair to see the ‘smashem, crashem’ demolition derby, to taste the succulent roasted sweet corn, or to check out little Jamie’s rabbits, you are taking part in an ancient tradition and celebrating community.
This year’s fair brings back all the family favorites. The demolition derby, ranch rodeo, tractor pull and flat track racing headline the evening activities. Throw in some of your favorite fair foods, live music, exhibits and a carnival and you have a recipe for the ultimate in family fun.
Personally I’ve always been a fan of the market animal and project auction. There’s no better way to support 4-H kids than purchasing an animal (or project) that they’ve put hours into producing.
Lastly, I invite everyone to join us on Saturday, Aug. 6th at 10;30a.m. for the Johnson County Fair Parade, hosted by the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce. Traveling west on Main St. through downtown Gardner, you will see floats, cars, horses and even a few politicians (it’s election year you know!). While you are downtown stop by some of Gardner’s locally-owned businesses. Your kids can get a taste of the past (an old-fashioned Green River from the soda foundation at the Gardner Healthmart Pharmacy) and you can have a taste of the future (ask for a Boston Cream at the Groundhouse).
In the words of the IAFE, enjoying a fair is a way to “see, hear, touch, smell and taste the richness and variety of what the world has to offer.” I encourage you to come out and enjoy the Johnson County Fair.
For more information, visit www.jocokansasfair.com.