Although many other daily activities tend to take a back seat when the fair is running, most of us gladly change our usual routines to attend one of the most beloved events that occurs each year, the Boundary County Fair. This year's theme, "Where We Gather," truly exemplified the intended spirit of community as the fair drew literally thousands of people from all walks of life together for four days of friendship in the relaxed, casual feeling that only a long-running country fair can generate.
Although officially slated to start on August 19, the activity at the fairgrounds actually began on July 16 with the first 4-H Qualifying Horse Show and escalated from there. Nearly every day after that something was happening at the fairgrounds, whether it was practicing for the Style Review, registration for Open Class Livestock, the 4-H Dog Show/Horse Show, O-Mok-See or setting up the display areas and booths that are so much a part of the fair experience.
Things really began to take shape on August 18 when the Open Class Exhibits and contests were open for entries. The Exhibit Hall began to bustle with people excited to offer their entries into the various classes to vie for ribbons and acclaim. Judging took place on August 19 and the fair atmosphere grew as the Pavilion Stage came alive with entertainment. With the traditional Opening Ceremonies that evening, the announcement of the Fair Royalty and the Fairest of the Fair, the fair was officially open for county residents to wander at their leisure to peruse the many exhibits and vendors and partake of the delicacies offered by the food booths.
Saturday dawned fair and warm as the perfect accompaniment for the Fair Parade, which wound its way up Bonner Street, down Main Street, around the Fire Hall and then down Kootenai. Fair Royalty, Andria Hedrick and Brian LePoidevin led the parade in a convertible, followed by another driven by Representative George Eskridge, then another driven by Uncle Bud Larsen with this year's Fairest of the Fair, Irma Merrifield, and then finally the Queens' Court. Spectators lining the streets were treated to equestrians, antique tractors, antique cars, horse drawn wagons, costumed kids riding decorated bikes, FFA and 4-H members atop flatbed trailers, fire department show trucks, the Sheriff's Department and EMT vehicles as well as the Shriners. As one spectator commented, "There was more candy thrown this year than you could shake a stick at!"
Saturday night concluded the fair with Family Fun Night followed by a dance, which were both, well attended and fun for everyone.
With that, the fair officially closed for another year. However, the fun, friendship, ribbons and memories will continue to sustain us as a community for the next year. As was said in the opening ceremony, "It isn't summer in Boundary County without the fair."
To view a photo gallery of the fair, Click Here