Lifestyle

Silvana Fair returns July 28, honors Strotz's memory

Inside the pen, Standwood
Inside the pen, Standwood's Kaylee Dargitz, left, and Freyja Stangeland maintain eye contact with the judge as they put their pigs through their paces at last year's Silvana Fair.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SILVANA — While Saturday, July 28, will mark the Silvana Community Fair's 65th year, it will also be the first Silvana Fair in more than 40 years to be held without longtime Fair Board President Roy Strotz, who passed away on Feb. 8 of this year.

Silvana Fair Board Vice President Lynn Pattison explained that this year's Fair is dedicated to Strotz's memory.

"Roy was so involved with the Fair that it's taking a handful of people to do what he once did on his own," said Pattison, who pointed out that the Silvana Fair is able to offer free admission and parking because of its all-volunteer staff and annual auction in March, the latter of which funds the Fair's trophies, ribbons and improvements.

Pattison noted that the Silvana Fair marks the start of fair season in the Pacific Northwest, since it always takes place on the last Saturday in July at the Silvana Fairgrounds and in the Viking Hall. As such, she explained that one of the primary goals of the Silvana Fair is to prepare the community's youth for the fairs that will follow later in the summer and in the fall, making it a "learning fair," where young participants can make mistakes and learn from them while still enjoying themselves.

"Everyone who goes to the fair is sure to learn something about farm life and rural activities," Pattison said. "People love to see their favorite exhibits, and there's always something new to see and talk about."

While the tractor pull is new to the Fair this year, the Parade of Champions will mark its third year at the Fair, showcasing the "Best in Shows" in the livestock department.

While the animal exhibits are limited to youth only, anyone can enter their handiwork or crafts in the Fair, whose premium book can be found online at www.silvanafair.com and lists the days and times that exhibits need to be entered.

All entries are judged by the Danish system, which means that they're competing against a set standard of perfection rather than each other. Therefore, several blue ribbons may be awarded in each class, and the one that is closest to the standard of perfection in its class will usually be awarded a special ribbon or trophy. Youths aged 6-19 will also receive premium money for their entries.

"Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Silvana Fair is that it lasts only one day, and then, like Brigadoon, it disappears for another year," Pattison said. "Its amazing disappearing act is helped by the many community volunteers who put in hundreds of hours of their own time to make a successful Fair for the community youth."

While Strotz's absence has prompted server Silvana Fair Board members to step up into new responsibilities, Pattison hopes the sun will continue to play its traditional role.

"For nearly all of its 65 year history, the weather has been beautiful on Fair day, and we hope this year is no exception," Pattison said. "As Roy said, 'The sun always shines on the Silvana Fair.'"

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