We have come a long way from the Romans’ idea of a county fair and the many fairs developed during the Middle Ages as temporary markets and an opportunity to display agriculture products.
We have also come a long way from a heat index above 100 degrees one month ago that would have put a damper on the 73rd annual edition of the fair.
The large trucks and trailers entering Hestand Stadium Sunday carried everything from livestock to carnival rides to displays for vendors. Five talent shows were scheduled for the Southeast Arkansas District Fair to be held through Saturday.
The week’s winners of the Jefferson County and district fair will be eligible to perform and display their wares and stock at the Arkansas State Fair next month. The district fair contestants represent winners from Jefferson, Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Ouachita and Prairie counties.
Music performances scheduled during the week – ranging from Southern gospel to rap and rock — should provide something for just about every taste.
Entries for the home economics exhibits were being unpacked Sunday and included needlework and sewing, baked goods, crafts, quilts, photography, art, food preservation, including canned goods, and honey. Home economics individual educational entries were judged Monday and were ready for viewing Tuesday.
The annual fair and rodeo parade will be held beginning at 4:45 p.m. Thursday in downtown Pine Bluff. The parade theme of “Let Freedom Ride” will honor the late Army Sgt. Michael J. Strachota of Pine Bluff, who was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in June. The slain soldier’s three-year-old son, William Michael “Will” Strachota, will be the parade grand marshal.
Participate in the fair and rodeo, a tradition worth keeping alive for another generation.