Happiness is an elephant ear and a summer smile

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There’s one sure way to say farewell to summer with a smile on your mug.

Head to the fair.

Yeah, yeah, we know. Summer doesn’t officially end for another month. But ask any school kid starting to sweat bullets (or parent eager for the school year to resume), and they’ll tell you we’re kissing goodbye the last of the long, hot and occasionally lazy days right now.

The political season approacheth, but we won’t ruin this feel-good moment by focusing on that. Instead, we’ll remind you of some of the reasons we love the North Idaho State Fair and see if maybe you agree.

While Republicans and Democrats are expected to have their booths as usual, Kootenai County’s fairgrounds are almost sacred territory for being a safe place for all to gather, without concern that unsavory flavors of politics, religion and other divisive matters will be crammed down anybody’s throats.

Musicians and a host of other talented acts are scheduled. Protests and counterprotests are not.

Kids will be showing off the livestock they’ve worked so hard to raise, not the mass of tattoos they’ve assembled.

Buildings will be filled with delightful creations painted, photographed and crafted by people who live in your community. And they’ll be judged by volunteers who live here, too.

As always, the fair and rodeo will be monuments to Americana. No other monuments will be erected, or torn down.

It’s our hope that the worst things that can possibly happen are:

• The milk bottles are still filled with lead.

• The basketball hoop still isn’t regulation.

• The elephant ears are all gone by the time we get there.

In short, the next five days will be long on great entertainment, a wholesome foray into our agrarian roots, and a gastrointestinal extravaganza that will shoot our cholesterol into orbit — but we’ll be smiling all the way to the ER.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to enjoy The Fair Necessities.

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