COLUMN: Are the lights on?

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   One of the first things I do Monday morning after fair week is over is to look and see if the lights are on in both Kim and Pete’s office. If both offices are well lit, I breathe a sigh of relief, yes, they both came in to work after the fair.

   Even though I joke with both of them about it, there is some truth to this. Over the years, the fair has ended several of our editors’ employment with us. We have never not had one of them show up that Monday, but within a few weeks they have handed in their two-week notices.

   So, before I go any further, thank you Kim, Pete, Rae Ann, Olivia and Mason for all your hard work last week. I know you guys were working through the elements, which include hot temps, chances of rain and storms, all while dodging pigs, sheep, cows and miscellaneous other animal hockey pucks.

   If my math is correct, this is Pete’s 24th fair and Kim’s 13th fair. Kim started working here several weeks after the 2009 fair (the previous editor did not survive that year) and Pete came to us in the winter of 1998. We didn’t tell him about the GJCF until late that spring! ;)

   Now that the 2022 version of the fair is over, I’d like to tip my hat to Lucas Gobeli, the new fair manager, on a fantastic week. The rides were filled with kids, the animal shows busy as usual, the beer was cold, there was car racing and the great music. Plus, there was more than enough food to fill thousands of hungry bellies.

   If you didn’t find at least one thing to enjoy at the fair, you didn’t try hard enough. And yes, there will always be some naysayers out there that never seem to be pleased with something fair-related.

   Of course, the fair doesn’t come together without the hard work of the GJCF board and all the 4-H staff and volunteers. The fair doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s a process that starts many months in advance. Lucas was handed a well-oiled machine run by former manager John Harms, and it was refreshing to see him put his own spin on things.

   Lucas even was on the receiving end of a hanging curve ball. As we all know, Lady A cancelled with little time to spare (about 4 days before sneak-a-peek Tuesday) and he made sure we had a respectable act to replace them just a few days later with the band 3 Doors Down.

   Even though the fair is over, we’re not done here at the Express. Today’s issue will have lots to read about and the following week we will once again publish our annual Fair Results Issue.

   A lot of hard work goes into the Express covering the fair each year, I hope you enjoy our results!



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