Record editorial: Summit County Fair is opportunity to bridge our cultural divide
It’s time to don your finest cowboy hat and a crisp pair of blue jeans and take part in an annual tradition.
The Summit County Fair returns this weekend, serving up activities ranging from a pie baking contest to a junior livestock sale to a professional rodeo that will cap the festivities. Those who attend will be treated to a slice of small-town Americana.
But the fair is more than just a reason for everyone to get gussied up and have a good time. It’s an opportunity for residents from all over Summit County to come together.
The cultural differences that exist in Summit County are no secret. Anyone who moves here learns them quickly. There’s an interest on the East Side in preserving the rural, conservative way of life that has kept many families here for generations. In contrast, the fast-changing West Side is predominantly liberal, and many Parkites have come from elsewhere to live in what has become a world-class resort town.
Those differences shouldn’t define us. Sometimes, though, they are spoken of with an undercurrent of acrimony. And too often, our county can seem like a collection of disparate communities with little connecting us. It doesn’t have to be that way. While the views and priorities of residents on the East Side and West Side may seldom align, we can still take pride in bonds forged by our geographic ties.
The county fair is a perfect place to highlight that. East Siders, show up ready to demonstrate what’s special about Summit County’s small-town roots. West Siders, hop in the Subaru for a short drive east to Coalville and get ready to soak in a special experience. Mingle with one another. Get to know someone who holds a different worldview. Appreciate the cultural diversity that makes our small county of roughly 40,000 people what it is.
Those who do will find out that, despite our differences, there’s plenty of pride to be taken in the fact we can call one another neighbors.
For more information about the fair and a schedule of events, visit summitcountyfair.org.
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Our view: Parkites must reckon with the fundamental issues of race and equality head on, resisting the human urge to retreat to our respective corners and instead make an honest effort to empathize with one another.