Editorial: Fair brings Whidbey together

Nothing brings Whidbey Island together like the Island County Fair, which is taking place this weekend in Langley.

Although it’s located toward the south end of the nation’s second longest island, it attracts a substantial number of entries and viewers from all over. And for Whidbey Island, this is fairly unique.

In general during the course of a year, North Whidbey, Central Whidbey and South Whidbey all do their own things when it comes to festivals and celebrations. Efforts to unite come and go, but usually fizzle over time due to distance and different social networks. But the Island County Fair has continued its island-wide perspective over the decades, and this year is no different.

Walk through the horse, cow and hog barns, and you’ll see a big representation of people from North and Central Whidbey. In fact, without them the animal offerings would be greatly diminished, and as a result they’re crucial to the success of the fair. 4-H Clubs from all over the island participate in the fair, letting kids from the three island high schools mingle for a change.

The Republican and Democratic booths on the Midway draw volunteers and visitors from all over the island, and the food booths are manned by people from throughout Whidbey. Check out the art, canned goods and handicrafts, and there are entries from every community on the island. North Whidbey’s Navy presence is given a special nod with Armed Forces Day at the fair, which is happening today.

For Saturday’s Fair Parade in Langley, North Whidbey veterinarian Dr. Kent Freer was chosen as grand marshal.

It’s refreshing to see so many faces from all parts of Whidbey at the Island County Fair. For this one weekend we have a common purpose and a common sense of community.

That’s one good reason to not miss this year’s Island County Fair, which continues through Sunday. Other good reasons include the sinful but delicious greasy food, eclectic musical entertainment, logging show, 4-H livestock auction, Fair University classes and the ever-popular carnival. Don’t let your family miss the fair experience. There’s nothing else quite like it on the island.

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