County fairs are a tradition that bring generations together year after year. I am lucky enough to have family in the Greenup, Illinois area. We would often time our trip to be during the Cumberland County Fair. I remember thinking how neat it was that all these people knew my mom, but when she was a kid. In fact, I would often be mistaken for her, despite our age difference. My grandfather was a stockholder in the fair so he would give us the parking pass. And he took tickets at the west end of the grandstand so we always would visit him there.
In more recent years, I started taking my fiance. He now knows many of the vendors and regulars by name. It is a comforting part of the year. It is a family reunion, but one that brings the entire community together. For some, it is the only time we see each other all year.
Now, this essential part of our collective lives is in danger. Attendance has waned over the years but state funding has been cut significantly this coming year. Last year, granted funds to promote fairs throughout the state account for 63% of their budget. This year, it will only fulfill 16% of the budget. There is talk that this will be the last year of the Cumberland County Fair.
This would be a tragedy.
So we are trying to do what we can to save the Cumberland County Fair, and support the tradition of rural fairs everywhere.
If you have a story about this fair, or others like it, let us know. We want to share those stories.
If you know a celebrity who would be willing to appear to raise money for the fair, let us know.
If you yourself would like to donate to the fair, let us know.
In the coming days and weeks, keep checking here for memories and stories about the Cumberland County Fair.