Editorial: 100 years of tradition
The whole community turned out. With flags flying, the Streeter Mine surprised everybody with a parade, and the Craig band performed. Huge tents housed the displays of local crops, with babies being the biggest crop.
The foregoing is an excerpt from a newspaper account of Moffat County’s first fair, which opened in Maybell on Sept. 2, 1918, roughly one month short of 100 years ago.
Next week, the community will once again gather to celebrate as we mark the opening of the 100th Moffat County Fair.
Almost anything with a century’s worth of staying power is worth celebrating, and in recognition of the significance of the centennial fair, the Moffat County Fair Board has pulled out all the stops to make the 100th incarnation of this beloved local tradition a grand event, indeed.
But it occurs to us that perhaps more relevant than the simple fact that the fair has endured for 100 years is the realization of exactly what has endured, and we feel the opening sentence of the historical account above offers an apt summation.
“The whole community turned out.”
How often does a “whole community” turn out for anything anymore? And what is it about that word “community” which — even in this day and age of political turmoil — still carries the power to bind us one to another like strong glue?
We think it’s our shared history, our common experiences — the trials, travails and traditions which, because we share them, make each of us part of something bigger.
The Moffat County Fair is a reminder that, despite the disagreements and discord that work to tear us apart, we remain part of a culture and a tradition that began long before we were born and, hopefully, will endure long after we’re gone.
Lots of things breeze into and out of our little community: carnivals, concerts, festivals, sporting events — you name it, and it has probably made a stop here at one time or another.
But the fair is different, somehow, and we think that difference is to be found in its constancy — it is an unbroken, 100-year-old tether that ties us both to those courageous pioneers who first thought to settle here and to those of us who — a century later — choose to remain here.
The fair is a symbol of our heritage, and one need not look far to see how deeply that heritage runs. The fair stands as a signpost to our shared past and a beacon to our collective future, and though it has changed over the years, one thing remains constant: community.
We hope to see you there.