Focus on fair and forget all the rest

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When the 2017 edition of the North Idaho State Fair and Rodeo opens today, an astonishing lineup of acts and entertainment will accompany some of the endearing, longstanding staples.

The fair also features what’s being billed as the largest carnival in Idaho.

Having said all that, one of the best things about our regional fair is what it isn’t. At least, that’s the hope.

While Republicans and Democrats are expected to have their booths as usual, Kootenai County’s fairgrounds are almost sacred territory for being a safe place for all to gather, without concern that acerbic flavors of politics, religion and other divisive matters will be crammed down anybody’s throats.

Musicians and a host of other talented acts are scheduled. Protests and counterprotests are not.

Kids will be showing off the livestock they’ve worked so hard to raise, not the mass of tattoos they’ve assembled.

Buildings will be filled with delightful creations painted, photographed and crafted by people who live in your community. And they’ll be judged by volunteers who live here, too.

As always, the fair and rodeo will be monuments to Americana. No other monuments will be erected, or torn down.

There will certainly be a petting zoo. Maybe, if you look closely, there will be heavy petting on the Midway. (Hint: Don’t look too closely.)

It’s our hope that the worst things that can possibly happen are:

• The milk bottles are still filled with lead.

• The basketball hoop still isn’t regulation.

• The elephant ears are all gone by the time we get there.

In short, the next five days will be long on great entertainment, a wholesome foray into our agrarian roots, and a gastrointestinal extravaganza that will shoot our cholesterol into orbit — but we’ll be smiling all the way to the ER.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Fair Time.

Let the fun begin!

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