This Labor Day weekend may mark the unofficial end of the summer, but it doesn't mean the fun usually associated with the season will be in short supply. Rather, this time of year provides the ideal opportunity for area residents to attend one of the many fairs and festivals that are on tap throughout the region.
By investing a bit of time to enjoy such festivities, friends and neighbors can have a wonderful outing while also enriching the numerous nonprofit organizations that use these events as their primary fundraising tools. The fact is, fairs and festivals - as well as the organizations they help to support - depend heavily on community participation.
Just think of some of the events that are being threatened by a lack of attendance, or how many events have been forced to make changes because of unfortunate financial conditions. We don't want to see that happen to the full slate of events that are the hallmark of this part of the year.
This weekend, the Barbour County Fair will wrap up, and the Randolph County Fair will get ready to begin. Then, there's Festival Friday in Buckhannon. And the Jackson Mill's Jubilee and the Jane Lew Arts and Crafts Fair all start this weekend, too.
Attending these events will allow you to not only become reacquainted with friends you haven't seen because of a busy summer, but it also will provide the chance to support community and charitable organizations that need your help.
Many local nonprofit groups set up as vendors at these fairs and festivals, hoping to raise enough money to carry on their good deeds for another year. That hot dog and soft drink, that ice cream, funnel cake or whatever your favorite may be, does more than satisfy a food craving.
It goes toward supporting scholarships, helping someone less fortunate with a heating bill or getting a student an eye examination and a much-needed pair of glasses. It helps fire departments and emergency squads purchase life-saving equipment, allowing them to keep their doors open and their vehicles ready to respond when duty calls.
Those few bucks spent at a fair can go a long way, many times in ways unseen or unrealized. We often feature, in the pages of The Inter-Mountain, the fun and whimsy of these entertainment-based events. The truth is their value far exceeds the fun fairgoers may have in the moment. Long after the rides have closed and the booths shut down, the monetary harvest from this season continues to make a difference.