County Fair went long way to bringing some normalcy

Editorial Gary MugThe county commissioners and the fair advisory board did a great job of overcoming the obstacles created by the fires to present an excellent fair this year.

It couldn’t have been easy having to shift fire personnel and equipment from the fairgrounds, but in doing so you went a long way in helping return some sense of normalcy after a trying summer. It just wouldn’t have been the same without everyone coming together to participate in what has to be one of the most anticipated events each fall.

While we hear attendance was down and there seemed to be some empty spots in the feather barns, overall it felt just like a fair was supposed to – much to see, do and of course, eat. I can still remember going to my first fair when I was a kid, hopping in an old station wagon and heading down with a friend and his family. In later years, attending with my own family, introducing them to what a good time you can have just going from exhibit to exhibit, running into friends and lining up for a carnival ride. Like at the Stampede, the rides were always my favorite part of the fair.

This year was especially fun as I got to show yet another kid that there’s more to do than sit at home and play on the computer or watch television. He got a chance to see kids his own age who raised their own animals, grew vegetables, painted a portrait, snapped a photo or created something out of Legos.

While the county fair is at one end of the spectrum, some might think the Okanogan Family Faire is at the other end. Not so, there’s lots to see and do, lots to eat, at this faire as well. And while it seems to be worlds apart, you see a lot of the same folks at both.

This coming weekend is going to be a busy one, with the Bell Game pitting Oroville and Tonasket Football squads against each other for the chance to win the Victory Bell. It also happens to be Oroville’s Homecoming Game and Senior Night. There’s a lot riding on this annual match-up for the Hornets who want a chance to bring the bell back after losing it to Tonasket last year.

We used to have a running count on who has won it more times and I’m sure there are those who know the exact number (or think they do), but we’ll save that for a future issue.

In addition to Homecoming and Barter Faire (I still have trouble remembering to call it the Okanogan Family Faire), Saturday night is also the Oroville Booster Club’s annual Booster Club Auction. The event takes place at the American Legion Hall and features both live and silent auctions. All proceeds go toward area youth projects, both athletic and academic. There are always some great deals, with prizes donated from local businesses and individuals, as well as sports and resorts stuff to bid on from around the state.

So turn off your televisions, set down your mouse and get out this weekend and have some fun. Support the faire, support your team, support our youth and remember these kind of opportunities get fewer and farther between as the weather turns cold.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.