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Amy Patterson – “My Thoughts”

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Fair week is officially over. My overtime is counted and the wristbands have been torn off. Let me be the one to say that I believe the annual Pike County showcase was a success.

No, I don’t know the breakdown of the dollars and cents and no, I don’t know how many porkburgers were grilled. What I do know is that it was a good fair.

Before you brush me off, know that the great majority of my summers since childhood have been spent at county fair rodeos across the Midwest. I’ve seen the best and worst.

What gets me is this: People, presumably those who actually attended the fair, are offering little else but criticism of the event.

The Pike County Fairboard maintains a Facebook page. Sunday, the day after the conclusion of the fair, a board member posted, requesting ways the attendees “think we could improve our fair.” The post followed up, saying “We will take into consideration every reasonable suggestion.”

What happened next is unfathomable to me. Out of 34 total comments, only seven mentioned anything redeeming about the event, without criticizing the fair or the board itself.

Are you kidding me?

It seems very likely to me that few of these Facebook know-it-alls have served on the Fairboard or volunteered their time to assist in putting the event on. They have no idea the time, effort, and money that goes in to putting on something of that caliber.

One man requests separate smoking and non-smoking sections; a woman wants a dress code; someone says the carneys were mean; the next says they want WiFi.

I understand the requests. I understand *some* of the frustration. But give me a break.

How are Fairboard members and volunteers supposed to police a dress code? Doesn’t that sound like a really good way to start a lawsuit?

Yes, I will certainly, 100 percent agree that some of the young women (read: and men!) dress inappopriately in this day and age. If you feel so strongly about it, why don’t you just tell them what you think about it? In the meantime, go to the store, the gas station, or even church, and tell me if they’re dressed any differently.

Before we begin criticizing and whining about what we want and what we don’t want, why don’t we take a minute to recognize and appreciate everything the Fairboard does do:

Hundreds of porkburgers; hours of blood, sweat, and tears; sleepless nights for the week leading up to and of the fair; contracting entertainment, and spending thousands of dollars on someone you’ve actually heard of? Sounds like a lot of work to me.

Next time, before you’re so quick to judge the efforts and goodwills of others, maybe you should consider this: Can you do their job better than them? Have you ever tried?

In the meantime, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”