Jason Camis

Jason Camis
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. 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 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.
Perhaps you’ll become 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. 4th at 10 a.m. for the Johnson County Fair Parade, the theme is “A Squealin’ Good Time.” Traveling west on Main Street through downtown Gardner, you’ll see locals, floats, cars and horses. While you are downtown stop by some of Gardner’s locally-owned businesses.
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.