Sydney Borstelman

Sydney Borstelman
GE Chamber intern
Every year around the end of July, the town of Gardner feels just a little more like home.
This is the Johnson County Fair’s 80th year being in place. I have lived in Gardner for 15 years and have attended the fair almost every year since 2004. It was the perfect place to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen since I walked out of school that last week in May. It was an easy walk from my house, and I saved up money all summer to buy a wristband to ride the carnival rides. I never really stepped out of my regular routine. I thought that the main point of the fair was the carnival, and it was to me anyways. It was the reason I looked forward to this week all summer.
Now that I have grown up and am currently in college, the fair never changed from that idealistic hometown reunion. As I am now and couple years older and a couple inches taller, don’t really fit comfortably into the rides, I realized that there’s more to the fair than just the carnival and catching up with friends. In recent years, I attended the other events the Fair Board put on, including the flat track races, dog show, swine and goat show as well as the livestock auction at the end of the week. Watching these events, I realized how much effort every individual puts into what they do, and that they spend hours preparing for fairs like these. Some of the children who participate have spent most of their lives with their animals. Their passion for 4-H and livestock is something truly special. The Johnson County Fair allows them to show a little bit of their family with their own hometown, making it feel just a little more like home to me.