Monday, January 23, 2012

Fair was one heck of a party, all right

This was two weeks ago, the Monday before the start of the 96th annual Manatee County Fair.

Fair manager Dan West was running around the fairgrounds, taking calls, making calls, checking on this and that while he got back into his SUV.

Before he took off, though, he said something that said, he's got the right outlook on this 11-day affair.

What, Dan West worry?

"You know how you plan a party, making sure everything is ready, and checking things and re-checking things before it starts?" he said. "That's what the fair is like --- one big party. And when it starts and everybody shows up, you join right in and hope everybody has a good time."

Sounds like it was a whale of a party.

A record total of 172,400 people went to the fair, which wrapped up last Sunday, shattering the old high of 155,000 set by the 2006 fair.

The terrific weather throughout made a huge difference.

It used to be when the fair rolled around, rain came with it.

You could count on it.

Not this year.

The showers that fell one evening last week hardly mattered.

I'm sure a lot of folks who were outside during the past week-and-a-half would stop, take a moment to bask in the sunshine say, yes, it's another good day for the fair.

My family and I were at the fair during one of those glorious days.

Walked all around. Ate fair food. Rode the ferris wheel.

Had a real good time.

Yeah, Dan West and those fair folks sure threw a heck of a party, all right.

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