Fair time in Yorkton

            It was fair time in Yorkton last week, and for me that is always an event which has me waxing nostalgic.
            The significance of the fair in Yorkton came into rather tight focus for me as I was sitting at a picnic table in front of the grandstand watching entertainment one night. It dawned on me that I been sitting in a similar spot, somewhere in front of the grandstand for likely 50-years.
            I’ll admit I can’t exactly recall if I was seven, or eight when I first attended the fair, at the time showing stock, or at least tagging along with Dad who was showing. I do recall, from family lore more than personal recollection, it was only two or three years after I won a trophy at age five showing in a junior class at one of the local fairs back home, Golburn or Connaught.
            We showed stock for years after, well except one summer when the tandem wheels on the stock trailer came off, actually rolling past us as Dad drove somewhere around Perigord, SK. I recall the village because a welder there got us on the road again, but too late to get to the Yorkton Show. We headed home, with me dejected because fairs were my summer camps growing up.
            But even that year Dad drove down to take in the show.
            Back then Yorkton was only one stop on our summer fair trek which included Saskatoon, Melfort, Nipawin, Prince Albert and others. The fairs were my playground. I got to know carnies travelling much the same circuit. We camped out first in a tent, then a camper on the truck.
            It was summer I dreamed of in winter, looked expectantly toward in the dog days of school in May and June, and lamented when we headed to Shand Fair the last stop in August.
            In time I would leave the farm behind, but visited the fair since my ex-wife was from here.
            That marriage led to taking the job at the then Enterprise newspaper about 30-years ago. The paper has evolved in the three decades to be today Yorkton This Week, but the job has stayed constant in one aspect my covering agricultural events, and that has meant at least some aspects of the fair.
            Granted agriculture is less and less part of the fair. The dairy goat show disappearing from the events roster just this summer. The regional 4-H show and light horses are all that is left, and the horse show did disappear for a summer or two in the recent past.
            It’s not the summer fair of my youth, but nothing today is what it was a half century ago, but the fair remains a constant for me, something that brings many memories back to me as I sit at the grandstand every summer, year-after-year.

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