Leave the butter cow aloooooone!
Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014
* Scott Reeder…
* I love Scott. I really do. I enjoy his company and I enjoy reading his columns. But he sure does love to pick on the State Fair. Another recent missive…
* Yeah, if Springfield’s metro area was as large as the Dallas metro region, the Fair would have a much larger nearby population to draw from and it would undoubtedly rake in lots more money.
So, who’s for moving the State Fair to Chicago? Anybody? Hello? Bueller?
The Texas State Fair is also the venue for the annual Red River Showdown, a college football game pitting the University of Oklahoma against arch rivals at The University of Texas. Maybe we could put the new Chicago State Fairgrounds by Wrigley Field and have the Cubs play the Cardinals all week.
* I have loved the State Fair since I was a 4-H kid growing up on a farm in Iroquois County. The State Fair was the ultimate goal of every active 4-H member. Only the best animals, projects, etc. made it to the “big show.” It was like the Oscars for 4-H kids.
The Fair rewards excellence and builds strong character traits, and that should be praised, not penny-pinched into oblivion.
I mean, do you know how many early mornings I trudged through the snow to feed my steer and scoop the poop out of his pen before breakfast so I might have a chance at the bigtime? Now, I wake up every morning and do basically the same thing, only figuratively, and I don’t usually have to trudge through snowbanks because I work out of my house when we’re not in session.
We need more of this in Illinois, not less.
All the other stuff - the carnival rides, the corn dogs, the grandstand - are just money-making sideshows to help fund the “real” Fair that someone without an ag background probably wouldn’t understand unless he or she opened his or her mind.
* But I digress. Back to the butter cow as an “only in Illinois” illustration of why this state has problems. According to the AP, Iowa, New York, Utah and Kansas all have butter cows. Iowa’s is the oldest and the first, started over 100 years ago.