County fair is a time for islanders to shine | Editorial

I’ve been attending the San Juan County Fair since I was a kid, and every year I am as enthralled as ever.

In the preservation and vegetable section, I’m in awe of the mountains of tomatoes and massive cabbages. The extensive art and photography submissions illustrate the incredible talent we have here.

And most of all, I feel such pride watching our island kids with dust on their boots and smiles on their faces. They raise animals and practice horse riding all year long and spend four days in August showing off all their hard work. Our kids come home with ribbons and a strong sense of accomplishment. This year, Orcas Island was represented by two young horse riders: four-year-old Grace Zwilling and seven-year-old Jaxon Paulsen.

It takes considerable time and money to support our youth in these endeavors. Thank you to local families for all of their efforts.

The fair offers an opportunity to discover and admire the creativity, passion, hobbies and the enterprises of our neighbors – young and old. It’s a time to play together, compete against one another, cheer each other on, and celebrate the achievements of friends and neighbors. For fair photos and coverage, see page 1 and 8.

Islanders are not alone in their appreciation of this island tradition. While it remains a community event at its heart and soul, the county fair attracts more and more visitors each year as well.

While at the fair, I tasted apricot and blackberry jam, admired gorgeous flowers, cheered on competitors, met new people, ate an elephant ear and listened to live music. Thank you San Juan County for valuing agriculture, the arts and a way of life that sets us apart from the rest of this modern world.