This week the Missouri State Fair opens in Sedalia. I have been to the State Fair several times both before Brett joined our family and after we got Brett. We never had a bad time. We have seen concerts, horse races, and then the year long work of the 4-H clubs throughout the state. That is what a State Fair should be. It should be a family time, rubbing shoulders with others from the state that are just as proud of the state as you are.
That was not the case last year in Iowa though. Although Iowa officials tried to down play the rampaging youths by saying it wasn't race based, the film footage showed different.
It was a shocking event that had never really happened before. I was stunned as I watched the violence erupt in our northern neighbors fair. This was not fun. This was not a family atmosphere. It was the sort of thing you do not expect to see in Iowa. This was not what a State Fair was supposed to be like. Thankfully things settled down in Iowa after the violence and the rest of the State Fair went off without any problems.
Today as I was preparing to write a piece on the Missouri State Fair I decided to check some news out first. Among all of the news of the economy and wars was an article on racial violence at the Wisconsin State Fair. From the video I saw it made last years Iowa State Fair incident look like a small street fight that did not amount to much of anything.
The Wisconsin officials stated that the violence was racially motivated and the last report I saw stated that they planned on charging some individuals with hate crimes, which as it should be. Now two years in a row an American Tradition has been marred by senseless violence.
Hopefully this will be the only State Fair effected by this kind of madness. I don't understand why this has happened the last two years. What is triggering this? It could be the economy. It could be unemployment frustrating citizens who are not able to find jobs. It could be any number of things I suppose. But why are the State Fairs being singled out and targeted?
I certainly hope that the second greatest State Fair (behind Texas) at Sedalia, Missouri does not see this kind of activity as it prepares to open this week. Maybe I will get around to writing a story about some of my adventures in Sedalia but tonight I just don't feel much up to it. It seems that an American institution is under attack and it doesn't sit right with me.