From horses and hogs to carnival rides and world famous scones, the local fair holds a special place deep in the hearts of many Americans. There is no doubt that local fairs provide entertainment, but it is important to recognize that they also support important community organizations and businesses. Without the local fair, some of these causes might go unnoticed or even cease to exist. Here are just a few of the reasons why we care so much about our local fair.
- 4-H – According to the 4-H website, 4-H is the largest youth development association, with six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni. Local fairs give 4-H participants a place to learn and compete. 4-H is a vital asset for developing productive, caring youth in our community. In fact, a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University showed that youth engaged with 4-H are twice as likely to get good grades in school and go to college. They are also much less likely to exhibit risky behaviors and more likely to have a positive impact on their communities.
- FFA – The young farmers who founded the Future Farmers of America in 1928 set forth the mission to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. Today, the organization fulfills their mission through a myriad of programs, scholarships and competitions. For many local FFA chapters, the fair is a vital part of the curriculum, as well as a place for competition and exhibition. The fair also provides the FFA with the opportunity to educate the public on the importance of supporting farmers and learning about food production.
- The Local Economy –Fairs offer small businesses a cost-effective way to showcase their products and services in their own communities. They also give community members the opportunity to recognize the resources that exist in their own backyards. For many small businesses, the local fair is a priceless form of advertising and networking. Fairs also provide economic boosts in the form of employment and increased tax revenue.
- Multi-generational Entertainment –From thrilling rides to award-winning animals and delicious treats, there is something for everyone at the local fair. In many communities, the fair is the only event that is truly multi-generational. There aren’t many other events that can pull a community together like an annual fair.
Unlike any other community event, the local fair brings education, entertainment, community service and economic development together in one place for everyone to share. This is why we care so much about our local fair, and we hope you do too!