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Many talents to be displayed

Is the tradition of the county fair becoming an endangered species? We thunder along in the name of "progress," lured by the flashy promises of newer, better, faster and

more hi-tech, but do we lose something in the process?

Thanks to folks like the Kiwanis Club of Andalusia, the agents at the Extension offices, and ordinary people with an extraordinary need to create and produce, the fair in Covington County is alive and well. The gates open tonight with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:20 p.m. The midway, with its flashing lights and bright appeal, is what draws the eye first, but the real essence of the fair is not out there, jammed between the carousel and the concession stand. The essence of the county fair is inside the Kiwanis Building and the Covington Center Arena, arranged on tables, dozing in stalls and even dancing on stage. It is the showcase of our talents and skills, the stage on which we all parade, displaying our artwork, our dancing talent, our gift for growing the plants and animals that are essential for our survival.

Here, too, is sharing. The gleaming jars of preserves and the proud bushels of corn and cotton are not there just to brag that it can be done right, but how it can be done right. It is a time to talk shop, and while the secret ingredients of prize-winning pies might not be revealed, almost everyone is eager to share information on how to produce more and produce better.

So go to the fair sometime between now and Nov. 15, when it closes. Go to have fun, but also go to celebrate the history of our land and the wealth of talent within our community, and the dedication of those who bring it all together.