‘Twas the night before the Miami County Fair, when all through the fair
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mare;
The 4-H club signs were hung above the livestock pens with care,
In hopes that a championship ribbon would soon be there;
The children were nestled all snug in the air-conditioned camper beds;
While visions of showing their animals dancing in their heads;
And mamas in their ‘blinged out’ jeans, and dads in their overalls
Had just settled in their camping chairs for the week-long county fair haul,
When out on the fairgrounds there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my camper bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
I tore open the RV door and drew up the sash.
The glare of the livestock lights from the hog barn were aglow,
Gave a lustre to the midway down the below,
What to my wondering eyes did appear,
But an oversized pick-up truck and a cooler full of root-beer,
With a little old driver so lively and smug,
I knew in a moment he must be a livestock judge.
The grand prize winner had a broad face and a little round belly
That was shined up like gleaming bowl of petroleum jelly.
It trim, it was fit, a right jolly old pet,
And I turned to my friend and I made a safe bet.
The judge gave a wink of his eye then put his hand on his hip with an authoritative stance,
He kept the spectators guessing with every wayward glance,
He paused for a moment before selecting his choice for second and grand,
He then spoke into the microphone, to thank all the family and friends waiting in the stands,
He knew the hard work that it takes to get to the fair, so he gave a round of applause for everyone’s part,
It takes a village to raise a great 4-H kid, and a lot of hard work from finish to start.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And started to select the winners, from bottom to first.
More rapid than harness horses they came,
And he whistled, and whorled, and called them by name:
“Now, Grand Champion! now, Reserve! Your second, and your ribbon is blue!
On down the line he called, pointing the 4-H kids out two-by-two,
“To the top of the Sale of Champions, To the front page of the Troy Daily News!
Now smile and be proud, of all that you have done!
People from miles around are happy for you, son!
After all of the hard work, dedication and it’s time to celebrate,
Head to the concert, the midway, or treat yourself to a Dairy Bar Milkshake.
Stay up late with all your friends, and then head to Newton Band Boosters,
The state banned poultry this year, so you won’t be woke up by the roosters,
Because soon, the excitement of the fair will wind down,
Summer will pass and the leaves will soon fall to the ground.
Stroll around the fair a few hundred times to see the sights,
But be sure to take advantage of Cove Springs Grange chicken bake on Saturday night.
All the parents and kids will look forward to break from the shoots,
They’ll get dressed up and put on their cowboy boots,
To take a minute and watch Dallas Smith and Clare Dunn as they sing for fans in the grandstands,
If you miss that performance, then catch the Battle of the High School marching bands.
We loaded up our fair box, and gave our fair friends a wave good-bye with eyes full of tears,
And drove away tired, but proud of all that was accomplished for the year,
In the truck’s rear-view mirror, the fairgrounds faded out of sight —
“Happy Miami County Fair to all, and to all a good night!”
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears on Fridays in the Troy Daily News. Swing by the lamb barn and bring me a dairy bar milkshake!