Saturday evening at the Washington Town and Country Fair Trace Adkins told an enthusiastic crowd, estimated at 13,000, to thank a Fair Board member if they were having a good time.

The country music star said he has performed at a lot of county fairs but no fair compares to our Fair in terms of the setup, the people and the atmosphere. That’s heady praise from a genuine guy who knows a thing or two about fairs.

Adkins was pitch perfect delivering his hits and with his impressions of our Fair. This year’s event was another winner.

Just like Adkins, the Fair Board delivered again.

This year’s event may not have broken every record, but it stands out as one of the best ever in the Fair’s 85-year run.

We in the media keep track of Fair records and statistics but it’s hard to quantify or measure an overall great experience. This year’s Fair was hard to beat in that key category.

And it wouldn’t happen without the hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers who work at the Fair year after year. That’s the secret to the Fair’s success.

And it’s contagious, according to Fair Board Chairman Paul Brune.

Leading those volunteers is the 23-member Fair Board. The intrepid group of volunteers work year-round to plan, produce and execute the five-day Fair. They devote countless hours — more like weeks — of their time so we can have a great time at the Fair. In the weeks leading up to and during the Fair, they work around the clock to make sure the rest of us have an enjoyable experience.

They take time off from their jobs and their families to plan and organize the infinite number of details it takes to produce one of the best fairs in the country.

Like any business, it is a job that gets tougher and more complex each year as the Fair grows in size and scope. The Fair Board has to balance rising costs with keeping the event affordable. But they always manage to pull it off. They always strive to improve the event, to try new things, to make it unique.

This year the Fair booked a Christian music entertainer which has generated a lot of positive feedback. It’s an example of how the Fair Board tries to appeal to our community’s interests.

But perhaps the most impressive thing about the Fair Board is that it leads by example. It’s that leadership that guides and inspires the Junior Fair Board members, the members of all the Fair Board committees and all of the other volunteers who turn out to help.

It is a remarkable achievement that may not be replicated anywhere else in the country. If you don’t believe us, ask Trace Adkins. By the way, Adkins was so moved by his experience at the Fair, he took off his shirt during his performance and threw it into crowd. One of his tour managers told a Fair official that in 20 years working for him, he has never seen him do that before. How is that for an exclamation point?

So on behalf of the community, thank you, Fair Board, we had a great time!