Opening Day at the Fair-018

I love the fair and it has been a developmental process. When I was young, it was about the rides. When I was a teen, it was about the rides, girls, and mischief. When I became an adult, it was about taking the kids to have fun, but also to learn about the exhibits, animals, and other interesting things.


For whatever age, it has always been about seeing people whom I have not seen for a while. Most of us, come out of our caves for the fair, or should I say, the I.V. EXPO (I’m sorry, but for me it will always be the fair. I, for one, am proud of our agricultural roots!) 


Now, I am an old dog, but I still go to the fair. I will take the grandkids, given the opportunity, but sometimes their dance card is filled by the parents. (It is free for Seniors on Friday the 26th!)


I also go to run into some of the old class of 1970, who like me, are laying low in the springtime of our senility. I am not into the animals that much because my dad was a veterinarian, and looking at pigs in pens is boring.


I do love the art exhibits. We have many talented photographers and artists in the valley and February/March is one of the few times we can get a global glance of local pics and paints. To check them out, the exhibits are one of the first buildings on the left when you enter the fair, either in “Lifestyles” or the “Hulsienda.” There is great, award winning stuff in there, as well as in the school displays.


In recent years, the tribute bands have become a source of free fun and flashbacks. This year, at the Expo, there is Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, and The Beatles “wannbees.” I have always enjoyed bands that have played good music well. The last couple of years I have seen and heard the sound-a-likes of Santana, Chicago and Led Zeppelin.  If you are a child of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, you not only hear good music, but it brings warm memories that have lain dormant in the musical soul of our minds. It is even better, when you go with your crew. The last few years, I have gotten together with my college roommates from UCSD where we attended school in the early ‘70’s.


If you are looking to live out your Love Languages, take your babe or beau to the Beatles which is Friday night, March the 4th. When it comes to love songs, I think the Beatles are the best, but you can enjoy their classic rock and roll if you are single or you are not married to a music lover. You can have quality time, and whisper sweet affirmations as you hold her hand.


Speaking of family, some of the younger generations have a great respect for old school music. You may want to take them along and see how that works out. My twelve-year-old grandson said that “Queen” was one of the greatest bands ever! That made me scratch my head, but through the internet and SiriusXM radio, the youth have access to all kinds of music at their fingertips. I really do respect my grandson’s musical appreciation. It is more diverse than I ever was.


Diversity is the last reason to rock the fair. In the exhibits, food, music or attendees, it is truly a multi-cultural event. There are all types of music in the grandstands and something for everybody. You may not have the flashbacks my friends and I have, but I do guarantee fun.

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Jim Shinn has lived in the valley for 57 years and was home-schooled in the 1950’s. He was been a counselor at schools, health clinics, drug treatment center and is the director of the Son-Shine Counseling Center. He has written for the Alpine Sun and the Desert Voice and has published 2 books Bedtime Storeezzz and Faith and Loving on the Way to Heaven. He has taught at IVC, SDSU and the University of Redlands and writes to keep sane in a very strange world. He loves Jesus and serves Christ at Valley Baptist Church in Brawley.