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Although the calendar says that the official beginning of fall isn’t until late September, for many of us, Labor Day signifies the transition as children begin another school year, and we pack away our swimsuits and rafts and beachwear. If history repeats, we’ll continue to have several weeks of wonderful weather with cool evenings and fresh, crisp mornings. In our house, the unanimous vote would be for endless summer — but the reality of a change of seasons is also something to look forward to.

Autumn is a very special time of year for me with the beginning of school, football season, a time to make applesauce and pies from the tree in our backyard, and to watch the grapevines over the back deck as the fruit changes in color from green to deep purple.

This evening is the last concert in the summer Music in the Park Series in Monmouth. What could be better than a summer evening listening to Celtic music with your family and friends, while enjoying a picnic from home, or purchasing food and drink from our local vendors. The concerts have been well attended all summer long, and we’ll enjoy another great evening close to home. Tonight’s group is Coming Up Threes. Thanks to the generosity of several local businesses, merchants and other organizations, these concerts are free to everyone who attends. Even though this is our last concert in the Main Street Park for the season, let’s thank our friends and neighbors by supporting their restaurants and other businesses during the year.

My all-time favorite summer event of the year is here. What fun to eat corn dogs, ice cream bars and enjoy the best milkshake of the year at the Oregon Dairy Women booth. The Oregon State Fair is in full swing in Salem, where there is truly something fun for people of all ages. A day at the fair is quite unlike any other — with so many opportunities to have a wonderful time. I remember my very first state fair when I was a 4-H kid — excited to spend some of my berry-and-bean picking, and chittum bark money (Anybody remember what hard work that was?) on corn dogs and curly fries and elephant ears. It’s good to know that some traditions are just as enjoyable no matter how many years have passed. There have been some changes — admission fees are reduced, but there is a $5 (cash) fee for parking. Senior citizens — admission is $1 all day, every day. That’s really good news for those of us of a certain age who are watching our expenses. See you at the fair.

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