The SEMO District Fair begins once again today. The gates open at 11 a.m.
By now you know what the fair's all about. The rides. The animals. The food.
The fair is a Cape Girardeau institution. For 153 years, the fair has, like shorter days and the start of football season, signaled the beginning of fall. It would be hard to imagine September without it.
Perhaps sometimes overlooked in all of the glitz of the lights and grandstand shows and the aura of the livestock areas are some of the smaller events that are sure to be entertaining. This year's lineup includes a hot dog eating contest, a mother-daughter/father-son look-alike contest, a cross-cutting saw contest, a karaoke contest, baby contests, a rooster crowing contest and a celebrity impersonators contest, among others.
The fair will also offer free general parking with trams that will shuttle fairgoers to the main gates. This service will be available after noon on weekends and weekdays after 4 p.m. Also, those who purchase tickets for certain grandstand events will not have to pay gate admission.
There will be plenty to do at the fair this year. It's an institution worth celebrating.