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chow down on a corn dog. Some fairs make a habit of deep frying more and more ridiculous items, including candy bars, soft drinks and peanut butter sandwiches. The county fair may be no friend to your calorie counting, but it is a once a year event. Try out the best local food vendors have to offer and enjoy yourself; just don’t go on rides too soon after.

Bringing locals together for a celebration of their community is a great plan, and offers something for everyone. Whether guiding a youngster onto the kiddy rides, sneaking a first kiss on the tilt-a-whirl, or watching your next-door neighbor win the gold in a pie-eating contest, attending the fair is a unique experience that can really bring out the best in your local area. So check your local listings and mark your calendars for a day at the fair; the carnival is calling, and there’s some pink popcorn with your name on it.

Miranda Lemke was in the process of getting her rabbits judged at last year’s Calumet County Fair.