Having experienced my first lighted farm implement parade as a Sunnyside resident with a new job and company back in December last year, I was attracted to capturing as much hometown character as possible while taking part in making the experience memorable – I was looking forward to soaking up the spring and summer fun of other lower valley events.
After the snow melted and my jacket was hung up, I was ready to immerse myself in all the local color and learn about my growing surroundings with a new camera in hand. Now, as end of August approaches and school’s starting, I’ve been documenting these adventures – expanding my horizons with vibrant insight and candid appreciation.
The latest journey led me to the Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo in Grandview. The four-day event has been promoting community spirit since 1927. A historic tradition of festivities which have evolved over 92 years was impressive and the daily activities encompassing a wide sphere of meaningful purpose and dedicated support shined through.
I observed what 4-H and FFA participation is all about. Members throughout the valley taught me about the lifestyle and its’ meaning which clearly portrays the qualities of character and rich environmental history that is Yakima County. And, one that I am embracing with both arms.
Judges awarded rosettes and ribbons which symbolized distinguished accomplishments in the livestock arena - an important aspect of the fair but not the only rite of passage on public display. Brand ambassadors were able to educate me on their daily routines in raising animals with a steadfast responsibility.
These role models were also extracurricular achievers in the classroom, out on the competitive field of athletics and as part of community service activities. Their diligent duties impressed me and their willingness to speak about their purposeful experiences was enlightening – providing me the opportunity to become more connected to the community in which I call home.