Community Celebration

The East Perry Community Fair began yesterday. I must say that it was a wonderful day. The weather was downright beautiful, and the crowd was large. About the only disappointment that I experienced is the fact that none of our immediate family was able to get to Altenburg this year for the fair. Partly due to that fact, I volunteered to help this year with the set-up for the parade. So, I put on the proper attire, grabbed the traditional yardstick, and set our to learn how to do a new job.

Beginning 4 hours before parade time, I proceeded to watch a steady stream of cars entering the west end of Altenburg, packed with people who were eagerly looking for a place to watch the parade. Our little, sleepy town was experiencing its annual population explosion. I have heard estimates that over 20,000 people are found in Altenburg over the 2 days of the fair. That is way more than the original hundreds of people who first arrived here in 1839 as part of the Gesellschaft.

In addition to the spectators for the parade, there were folks arriving who were going to part of the action. Floats, autos, trucks, horses, tractors, and other assorted vehicles and trailers started to gather in preparation for this special fair-opening event. Then the buses began to show up carrying several local high school bands who would be marching. As the time for the parade drew close, local school children began to arrive. The American Legion would provide the color guard to lead the procession through town to the fairgrounds.

Because I was helping at the set-up location this year, I was not able to watch the parade and take photos of it. However, our museum director, Carla Grebing took some wonderful pictures and posted them on our museum’s Facebook page. If you’re able to get on the site and haven’t done so yet, you should check that posting.

Once the parade was over, plenty of folks gathered at the fairgrounds where there was an ample supply of food, drink, and entertainment. The crowd kept growing as the day went by and into the night. The bandstand’s new “dance floor” got use for the first time. It grew dark, and the lights went on, and at the grandstand, the truck pull was about to begin. That’s about the time when this old man had to get rested up for all the Saturday festivities.

Day 2 of the fair began with a Pedal Tractor Pull for the young ones. The fair is for all ages.

A lot of local folks get the opportunity to display their talents at this event each year. Of course, what would a fair be without the animals. I’ll first display some of the smaller animals.

Next, a few photos of the horses and mules.

Then there are also plenty of bovines.

Young ones learn the skills of taking care of animals at an early age, and their parents are very proud of them.

Gardeners like to display their produce. Photographers proudly show their work. Artists and craftspeople feature the works of their hands.

The crowds increased as the day went by. If you watch people for very long at the fair, you realize that this event is like one big reunion. Gathering with friends and relatives is a big part of the days of the fair.

One of the unique events at the fair is the Mule Jump. You almost have to be here in person to really appreciate what goes on during this contest, but I will place a gallery of photos here in an effort to give you a feel for it.

As I finish up this post, a tractor pull is happening at the grandstand, but my wife and I decided it was time to come home. In closing, I will just tip my beer glass and say, “Here’s to next year’s fair.”

Final note: The beer cup is misleading. It actually contains a local favorite brand…Stag.

2 thoughts on “Community Celebration

  1. Thank you! This certainly brings back memories going back to the Perry Fair back to about 1950. I think we even went to march in the parade, riding to Altenburg in a Farrar Transfer stock truck.

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