9/9/2013 11:12:00 AM It's almost fair and rodeo week, yee haw!
I can almost smell the elephant ears now. It's time for the Adams County Fair. I look forward to fair week all year. I remember waiting to go to the fair when I was a kid, but growing up in a city and driving quite a distance to go to the fair isn't quite the same as fair week in Othello. In fact, the longer I live here, the more convinced I am nothing is the same as fair week in Othello. A friend attended the fair with me last year and couldn't believe I knew somebody at every turn. I've never been part of a small-town community before, but it sure feels nice the one week of the year when you see just about everyone in town all in one place. Some are behind counters, serving the fair food that you know so well. Others are walking around with the kids or grandkids. Or just enjoying the fair atmosphere. There are local kids with their animals walking around all week. I love wandering through the animal barns and looking at the cows, sheep and goats. Of course, I have to walk around and look at the horses, too. Even the traveling entertainment provides a nice community feel, bringing people together. Kids, their parents, people wandering through the fair, they all stop for a look. As fair week gets closer, I have to put together my action plan. What food booths to stop in, what things I must see. With so much to do, see and photograph, fair week definitely keeps this reporter hopping. Exhibits, carnivals and special events, oh my. I can't decide which entertainer I'm most excited for. Is it ranch-grown country singer Chase? Fun clown Penelope, dressed all in purple? The trip through the wild provided by Predators of the Heart? Lucky for me, a reporter is essentially required to attend all shows at least once. I mean, darn, I guess I'll have to check out them all! And if that wasn't enough, there's the rodeo next door. I adore rodeo. My first year at the paper, I cowered in the corner of the stands, absolutely sure that this time, the fallen cowboy wouldn't stand back up. I gasped every time someone was thrown from a horse and waited on bated breath to see if the young man would recover. It turns out, they do, almost always. So maybe I got laughed at a little for my concern, but it started in me an excitement of rodeo that I still embrace today. I love getting right up to the edge of the arena and taking pictures of cowboys putting everything they've got to stay atop a horse or bull. I cheer for the people roping, for those riding and more. Not to mention Miss Rodeo Othello. Before moving here, I didn't understand what it took to be a rodeo queen, besides wearing a pretty outfit and riding around on a horse. I am truly impressed by the amount of poise and horsemanship that goes into representing the Othello Rodeo. They keep their cool far more than I do and I'm just the one sitting in the stands hiding my eyes when somebody falls.