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Getting back to the way it was

During its heyday, The Red River Valley Fair used to be one of the premiere events in the entire metro wide area. Everybody looked forward to taking in the annual Fair as the highlight of the summer, and for many that's exactly what it played out to be.

With over a hundred year history, that's the way it should still be viewed, but the last few years has seen the event marred by leadership and financial difficulties with attendance two years ago at the lowest point in several years, the exact reasoning for that still debatable.

Some very serious issues played out in the public have seemed to cast a negative shadow over just the mention of the word 'Fair.'

Truly unfortunate, because what has happened behind the scenes within the inner circles of management shouldn't tarnish the scope of what the Fair has to offer for those who enjoy taking in the fun and festivities year after year.

Those thinking about taking in this years version should leave all those past conceptions at the gate and welcome the event for what promoters are intending it to be - 'good old-fashioned family fun with an excellent mix of musical entertainment and wheel events that will appeal to everyone.'

Fair manager Wayne Venter, who stepped into a precarious situation earlier this year, appears to be working hard to get things back on an even keel, coming in late and trying to pull together lose ends. Time will only tell how those efforts pan out, but everyone is hopeful this year's Fair will be back on track toward becoming the popular, successful event that it used to be.

Consequently, a variety of new entertainment elements have been thrown into this year's mix, along with the good old standbys that include the nightly grandstand entertainment, the Thomas Carnival Rides and, of course, what everybody visits the Fair for, the enticing variety of concession food.

The Fair Board is also planning one very special day this year - Saturday, June 23, to honor veterans. Working in conjunction with United Patriotic Bodies, the closing concert that day at 8:30 p.m. has been designated "A Tribute to Veterans," featuring a trio of popular country groups "Restless Heart," "Blackhawk," and "Little Texas." The concert will be preceded by a brief recognition ceremony at 7 p.m. that all veterans are invited to attend. All that is necessary for admission to this event is any type of proof of military service.

On that same note, the United Patriotic Bodies is also looking for individuals for the Color Guards and Honor Guards for the veterans' tribute ceremony. For more information, contact Terry Richardson, commander, United Patriotic Bodies, 701-491-0493; or Deb Malm, veteran's tribute coordinator, 701-261-6558.

The success of the 2007 Red River Valley Fair will be a strong starting point in mending torn fences within the organization - your participation will go a long way in assisting.