The largest community event in Washington each year is upon us. It’s the annual Washington Town and Country Fair, beginning Wednesday and running through Sunday.

The Fair is a climax to a year of planning. Once a Fair is over, the energy-intensive members of the Fair Board begin planning for the next one. The members review the Fair that just ended and use that experience to plan the next event. Speaking of experience, Fair Board members have it and know how to produce the next one. They become professionals in staging an excellent event that is pleasing. They know the pulse of people in this area and what they desire in a Fair.

Perhaps one of the most pleasing results of the Fair each year is its emphasis on families. Young people who attend the Fair never forget it, and recall memories of the fun they had at the Fair. Many of those who have moved away, return to the area for the Fair. Children are safe at the Fair. Security is excellent. They can roam the fairgrounds and parents don’t have to worry about them. You don’t have to walk very far in the fairgrounds and you meet countless people you know. Some of them you haven’t seen or talked to since the last Fair.

The Fair lives up to its name, Town and Country, because it’s the mixture of rural and city folks that gives the Fair a special flavor. They volunteer together and form new friendships. The expertise the rural folks have, especially in the livestock events, is invaluable.

Overall it’s the volunteers who make the Fair click. They are involved in the big and small chores that have to be executed to make a successful Fair.

An impressive aspect of the Fair is how well it is organized. There are countless details that have to be handled. The many sponsors of events are vital to the success of the Fair. There are so many events, it takes a large number of volunteers to handle the operations. There will be free rides again on the midway and there are many free parking lots, with shuttle service. The Fair Board published an insert in The Missourian that contains all of the events and the times they will begin. It’s an excellent reference.

The Fair draws people from a wide area. Many residents in St. Louis city and county attend the Fair. They come back year after year. The entertainment is the reason many of them come, along with getting a taste of rural life. Some people are under the impression that it is a county Fair. It’s a Washington Fair. It is sponsored by the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.

If the Fair parade is any indication of what is to come this week, the 2013 event is going to be a success. The parade drew a large crowd as it always does. It was very enjoyable.

The theme is “Summer’s Last Blast.” It is that for most families because the fall semester of school begins soon after the Fair.

The 2013 event is something to look forward to, and it’s the place to be this week. There’s something for everybody to enjoy — young and old.