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Thursday is the opening of the Polk County Fair. All summer long we’ve anticipated three special days when everything good about our communities is showcased for everyone to see and enjoy. Our 4-H members have been working hard for weeks and weeks to have their special projects and animals prepared and ready for judging and display, and their parents, leaders and other volunteers are delighted to share in the fun.

It’s always so much fun to be there bright and early to enjoy the entire day and to make new memories watching families with little children who delight in everything from petting the animals to enjoying the carnival games and eating corndogs with lots of bright yellow mustard. It’s our once-a-year day to meet friends old and new, to visit all the commercial booths, to get advice on house and home projects, and to see all the things that represent the best of Polk County.

The berries and peaches are at their peak now, and our kitchens are busy with jam and pie making. All the hard work and efforts put forth during these busy days will be appreciated and remembered on those dark and rainy winter mornings when the taste of summertime will appear on our breakfast tables. The apple tree is heavy with fruit and soon it will be time to savor those first wonderful bites and share the bounty with those we love.

Cascade Crescendo is this evening’s Music in the Park featured group in Main Street Park in Monmouth. Pack a picnic basket or purchase food and drinks from various vendors and enjoy an evening of bluegrass, dubgrass and other Americana music from an extremely talented group of musicians who have performed all over the country.

Our dogs sure enjoy going on walks around MI Town and on the Western Oregon University campus. They love the chance to get out and about, and the walk is good for all of us. We’re always careful to carry plenty of plastic bags for cleaning up those not-so-special items the dogs tend to drop during our outing. It’s not a fun task, but it goes along with responsible and caring dog ownership, so we do it. Sadly, not everyone shares our concern and we frequently notice dog “stuff” on lawns and sidewalks. I’m sure the other folks who share the lawns and sidewalks and streets don’t appreciate dealing with somebody else’s not so pleasant “stuff” (this is a family newspaper, so that word will have to suffice). Let’s all remember to pick up after our pets and be good neighbors.

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