People who have an issue with the change in the Allen County Fair Parade route or day likely never participated as a 4-H member who had to have animals moved in, weighed in, and get ready for judging.
I admit when I first learned of it I wasn’t overly happy with the changes in the day or route. Many years I was either on a 4-H float when I was younger or in a marching band. But once I learned the reasons they made the changes it makes perfect sense.
The fair isn’t about the tradition of the parade or getting free candy. The tradition of the fair has always been about the county’s agriculture and the 4-H involvement of kids of all ages and their projects whether it be an animal or any of the other choices they have to pick from. The tradition is about all of the preparation, time spent walking your animals, and excitement leading up to when they show the judges how much they learned in a short time. It is about carrying on with the tradition of being in 4-H because you are the 4th or 5th generation to be involved. And finally, it is about the tradition of the time and effort the advisors devote by volunteering—-yes volunteering—- their free time and vacation days for the youth because they know the value that 4-H has.
Many 4-H advisors finally got to see the fair parade for the first time in 30 years.
— Stacie Rockhold Burtchin, Lima