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The County Fair

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The followiug excellent artiele ou wbat coudnces to the sucoess of a fall fair, i? taken irotu the oolnnms of the örauge Visitor, and is froui the pen of F. E. Mills, the general superintendent of the Wasbtenaw County Agricnltural Association. It shows the study aud atteution tbat the gentleiuaM has given the question of county fairs and their general and speoial attractious, and is worth the pernsal aDd oonsideration of those who shonld be most interested in the f airs - the farming cornmunity: First, we must take into consideratiou the fair as an American ineticntion, an educator, a great civilizer, an udvertiser of the nation, state or county of whicn it is a part. Thiuking and observing people must admit that social gatherings are uecessary for the advaocernent of a coiimmnity, and that these gatherings are to the advantage of the farming part of the comtnunity. We of ten hear the remark, "Fairs are out of date. There is nothing new to beseen since the World's Fair." I think tbis is a wrong idea. The paople of state and couuty should put foith an extra efïort to rnake attractious whicb are both moral and Bducational, which vfill get the wbole lommünity together on a oomrnon level. Let them see all the improvements that have been made dnring the year; learn what their neighbors, far and near, have been doing; exchauge ideas, and I vvill warrant they will go home ïeeling better for having gone to the state or souuty fair. Their children enjoy it 3qually well, and, if allowed to do their part toward making an exhibit, Eeeling that they, as well as the older Dues, are a part of the people. The fair or the exhibits whioh coustitute the fair proper, shonld be gently oareu lor by the board of , gers, and ro i.eglect allowed in auy . partment tn ui least to greatest value, ' by the fair oöicers and superinteudents. . öee that the best there is in the county '. Huds its place in the exhibits, whether it be mechanical, of the vegetable . dom, live stock, art, or of the more ] bomely industries. Let one ueighbor induce another to compete. Don't be afraid that the departmeuts will be too , ínll, or that the fair will be dubbed a "pumpkin show," fnr the ones who dub it as such usually don't know whether a pumpkin grows on a tree or in tbe ground. All the buildings ou the grounds sbould be clean and well lighted. The grounds should not remain littered, Bvery morning sbould rind them clean. This requires work, "efcernal vigilance. " Those who have had to do with fairs know what it means. Plenty of seats should be provided. No tired inother, out for a day of diversión from home caies, with her family of little ones, will ever want to eome again if she is obliged to stand all day, holding her tired child when she herself is ready to sink from weariness. I have seen this too often. Such days to mothers are days of paiu instead of pleasure. Get those to assist you who have some taste, in order to make the exhibit attractive, and above all let your attendauts be kind and respectful. Let them remember that tbe whoie comruunity are patrons and are entitled to respectful answers to their questions. My idea in regard to special attractions is that they are a second cousideratiun in connectiou with the fair. The agrieultural, horticultural, and mechanical departments are tbe oues whicb interest nine-tenths of tne people and they should not be allowed to suffer for the sake of introducing some highpriced "jiin crack." But after the better part of tbe fair has been provided for, see what you can aiïord to give the people extra for their inoney. Show these attractions later in the day when your patrons are lired with other sights. Almost every society has tried speed contests and has had years of debt and carses from those who owned the horses because they couldn't carry away the grouuds. Larpe purses and trotting Horses bave not, as special attractions, put money into the treasury of any fair society. A moderate arnount of track speed with purses that develop good horses iu the vicinity, are not objectionable; but as a garnbling attraction, they ure a failure. I would nut have you confound ths good driving fiorse witb the gambling specialist. It your locality deiuauds speoial races, the purses should not be made at tbe expense of other premiums, and one race each day is as much as the society should offer a large ainount for. For many years balloon ascensions were quite the fad. People seemed to like something seusational and daring. But the expense for these was more than the iucoiue, compared with what we were giving the people in premiums. Traveling shows of auy kind, trainee animáis, track-peiforiners, or athletes are popular. If the society chooses to give these extra, it must arrange mat ters so that all oan see the performance The exbibition must move quickly, or otherwise it is wearisome and uninter esting. These exhibitions should be oleau in oharacter and the committee should know before jnst what they are in order to arrange the program to the best advantage. Those entertainment whicb ' show . skill and agility usuall; give the best satisfaction. I am not in favor of tented shows where admission fees are cbarged and au eft'oit is pu forth to see how muoh inoney the show keeper oan get out of every man woman, and child. 'Wben these peopl have returued home, they think ove how much they have spent and f i lly rieolve that another fair will uot b made ricber by theii attendance. Wheu people have paid their admissiou to th grounds the rights there should be fre of charge. There is an old feature of the fairs o special attraction tbat city patrous hav ridiculed until it i. almost lost to us Bot it was one, I fiud, which wa generally liked - that is a good, open air speech made by a first-oiass orator. Not all the readers and thinkers live iu the city. But onr city patrous have the privilege of hearing addresses by all the firsfc of our country, while those who live in the country do not have tb is pleasuro. To the latter a talk on the topics of the day is a treat to be long reiuernbered. The orator must not be a cheap, secoud-rate one, but the best that can be obtained. An exhibit of musical iustruments, especially if the booth ia made attraotive by good vocal taleut, always draws a crowd, more perhaps of woinen and ohildren than of men. But if you please this part of the gathering. the lords of creation are suro to be close behind them. Who was ever iu a place where tbe women oould ohat and be en tertained at the same time, who dirlu't think those wonien vvould like to be as nicely eutertained again? Five thousand vvomeu on a well arranged fair groaud with a good exbibit, means five thousand men and as many children, for one mnst go to oare for the other. I cannot refrain from saying, don't try to give a dollar show for fifty cents, and doo't allow fakirs of any kind ou your gronnds. They rob yon of all they uan and sond your patrous home thoroughly disgusted with fairs and all connected with them.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News