Even though we are now awash in back-to-school advertisements – we spotted the first just before Fourth of July fireworks rocketed into the sky – the curtain hasn’t come crashing down on summer just yet. In fact, events that are fixtures on the summer calendars of Washington and Greene counties are either happening right now, or will be getting underway in the days ahead.
The Greene County Fair got started Sunday at the county fairgrounds outside Waynesburg and will be continuing through Saturday. County fairs have been fixtures of communities for decades, and Greene County’s fair has a reliable array of contests and competitions, with animals, produce, pies, photography and canned goods being judged, a demolition derby, games and rides. A fair also wouldn’t be a fair if it didn’t have fare that makes you think, what the heck, I can sidestep my diet for a day, and partake of hot sausage, fries and cakes.
The same day the Greene County Fair ends, the Washington County Agricultural Fair will begin at the fairgounds in Arden. The 219th fair will feature performances by country artists Joe Diffie, Keith Anderson and the Hobbs Sisters, along with a school bus demolition derby, a horse and pony show and plenty of contests, rides and food. Wrapping up Aug. 19, the fair not only offers a way to celebrate the community, but learn a thing or two about our agricultural heritage. Plus, who can deny the fun of a milk-chugging contest?
At the same time the Washington County Agricultural Fair is kicking into gear, the Pony League World Series will be getting under way at the Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park. The first pitch in the tournament will be thrown out Friday evening. Featuring the best baseball players from around the world who are aged 13-to-14, the Pony League World Series offers a unique opportunity for regional baseball enthusiasts – to see the potential stars of tomorrow in the here and now. Who knows? A superstar who will one day be on a par with Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout could be among the competitors.
Although the Pony League World Series has been a part of Washington County for decades, its presence here should not be taken for granted. Earlier this decade, there was talk that it would relocate to Michigan, and if it had, it would have deprived the county of a valuable opportunity for exposure on an international stage and hurt its bottom line, since the teams and their minders stay at local hotels and frequent local eateries.
It wraps up Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. with a championship game. It should also be noted that a third fair, the West Alexander Fair, is also looming on the horizon, set to start Sept. 4.
Yes, fall will be here soon enough, and the fun and frivolity of summer will be behind us. Vacations will be over and we’ll have to give it our all at work or school. Until then, though, we should enjoy these waning days of the season, and these local events make summertime in this region all the more special.