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Editorial: Dakota County Fair is valuable to the community

There has been no shortage of opportunities to celebrate community so far this summer. There have been block parties and neighborhood gatherings, events in the park and celebrations designed to bring the whole city together.

They were all a lot of fun, but that was really just the warmup. The real party starts Monday, the opening day of the Dakota County Fair.

Those other celebrations are a nice way to bring communities together. The fair brings people from all over the county. It's got the midway, the animals and the cars crashing into each other. It's got motocross, bull riding and several nights of free live music.

We're lucky here to have the fair as close as it is. It's easy to get there, and it's easy to take the event for granted. To use it as a fun escape for an afternoon or an evening, an excuse to eat deep-fried foods, and not think of the bigger picture.

The fair is a celebration of Dakota County. It's a chance for residents to show off their talents, hidden or otherwise, in photo contests, talent shows and cooking competitions. It's a reminder of the county's agricultural past, and a chance to explore where things are headed.

The fair is a place to make memories, and a place to form a stronger sense of community.

That's a lot to take away from a week of rides, food and demolition derbies, but we think there's something to the idea that a good fair is an important part of a good community. The Dakota County Fair is a good fair, and we hope everyone takes advantage of having it so close.