The 2014 Buffalo County Fair concluded today, making it a day of great relief for me. For seven days straight – some of them with heat indexes over 100 degrees – I was at the fairgrounds for an hour or two or six.
I cover the fair as part of my agriculture beat at the Kearney Hub. There were many things to see and do, including a concert by the country group Little Big Town, a carnival with lots of rides and games, and exhibits of all kind.
However, Nebraska’s number one industry is agriculture and Buffalo County is one of the top-producing counties for crops and livestock, so the focus of the fair always will be on ag-related competitions and entertainment, and especially on 4-H.
As usual, I was asked several times this week if I was having fun. Usually, I say it would be more fun if I wasn’t working, although most of what I do is take photos, which can be fun when it involves events such as bull riding and mutton busting.
It also would be more fun if there wasn’t several hours of work to do after every fair day to sort and identify photos, and write about the grand champion winners in the market sheep, beef and swine competitions for 4-H members.
The heat and humidity did take the starch out of me on several days, but mostly I’m just brain tired. Sleeping for about 48 hours – if that were possible – sounds great. I hope to take a day off this week, and just getting back to a more normal routine helps in my recovery process.
I’m sure members of the fairgrounds and Extension Service staffs, and all those 4-H families (at least the parents) are thinking the same thing.
NFPW members know the feeling, too. Maybe they’ve never covered a county fair, but everyone I know has been involved in covering, planning and/or hosting big events or projects.
Parts of such things are fun and it certainly is rewarding at the end of it all to know that you did a good job.
However, days later, it still can feel like I’m on a roller coaster that hasn’t quite stopped. Or in the case of the Buffalo County Fair, the 360-degree Fireball that took riders – certainly not me!!! – upside down.
So was covering the county fair fun in general, or more or less fun than the past 20-plus fairs I’ve covered?
Ask me in a week or so when my brain is rested, the house is sort of clean again, the laundry is all done and the roller coaster ride truly seems to be over.