The Cheshire Fair starts Aug. 1, and I would like to encourage people to get involved this year. There is more to the fair than just the demolition derby and the midway.

There are all kinds of classes in which to exhibit. Did you take a really great sunset photo? Or one of your dog? There’s a class for that.

Maybe you’ve finished some craft project or made a quilt. Check out the fair’s website for a class.

All you bakers out there, why not show off your skills, show off your family cookie recipe, decorate a cake? And you gardeners, there are classes for vegetables, house plants, flower arrangements — there is even a contest to decorate the garden squares at the fairgrounds; prize is $200.

And there are lots of classes for kids. Perhaps that refrigerator artwork you have hanging up might be a winner? You got Legos? They got a class for that. Now would be a good time to get kids interested. We need to get them interested when they’re young, because they are the future of the fair; future volunteers and directors.

The fair is not put together without help, without volunteers. And the board needs local involvement. We need people to step up and become volunteers, directors, idea people, whatever.

Having the fairgrounds for events is a draw for the community: the motorcycle swap meet; horse shows; car events; and such. To see us lose it to lack of interest would be a shame. If it were to fail and be sold off, it would probably become a ticky-tack housing development.

I’ve heard people moan and complain: “It’s gotten too commercialized.” Yet when asked if they went to a sheep show or if they walked through the exhibit barns, the answer is generally “no.” But they did hit the midway.

The directors are going to bring in what brings people in. If there’s a lack of interest in agriculture and more in the midway, there will be less agriculture. It’s simple math.

If there is a reason you’re not going to the fair this year, or some event you’d like to see there, the directors need to know. Contact them. Give them feedback; better yet, volunteer.

Oh, and if it’s the cost? When you enter something in the exhibit barns, you get a voucher for a discount on your entrance fee.

So come out to the fair, have fun and make some memories, maybe win a ribbon.

DENNY WHEELER

58 Beach St.

Keene