When he was not quite 20 years old, Floyd Joliet left Girard and headed north to Michigan.

When he was not quite 20 years old, Floyd Joliet left Girard and headed north to Michigan.
After a brief post-retirement stint in Florida, Joliet and his Michigan-native wife Barbara moved back to the “quiet town” that sits as the Crawford County seat.
They’ve been here for going on seven years, each of which has been highlighted by their annual trip to the Crawford County Fair — the popular festival that kicks off today.
“This is really unique,” Floyd said of the fair Tuesday while preparing for the horticulture display at the fairgrounds. “It’s one of a kind. It’s small-community driven. It’s an event that brings the entire community together. You run into the bankers, the doctors, the dentists, the people who work at the co-op. It’s really a nice, safe, fun, family event.”
For his wife, who said she is used to the Michigan State Fair — an event where “you’re not likely to run into anybody you know” — the Crawford County Fair is an experience like no other.
“When we would go to the Michigan State Fair, you just get overwhelmed with how huge it is,” she said. “But this event down here is such a treat to be a part of. I get the biggest kick out of watching everyone bring their animals in and watching these 4-H kids trying to get those large pigs moving. It’s so much fun.”
Mike Bicknell, of Pittsburg, is the father of three 4-H participants. He and his children were at the fairgrounds Tuesday preparing to show off three of their “best pigs.” But while competing adds a sense of excitement to their experience, just being at the fair is enough for them.
“The fair is like one of our vacations,” Bicknell said. “We enjoy it. We hang out all week.”
Tuesday was “move-in day” for many of the vendors, campers and participants. It also serves as the culmination of a year’s worth of planning for the fair.
“As soon as (last year’s) fair was over, we started planning for this one,” said Robert Tersinar, fair board treasurer. “During our September board meeting, we were already making our list of what worked and what didn’t work. We are always trying to find ways to enhance the fair.”
And it was the extensive planning and managing of resources that helped protect the fair from the fierce economic recession that caused many corporations and organizations to scale back.
“Despite the seemingly tough economic times, we haven’t pulled back any,” Tersinar said. “The fair needs to be there and it needs to be strong. That’s why we’ve been conservative with our funds over the years.
“We haven’t taken our foot off the gas,” he said.
Today has been designated Dennis Brown Day in Crawford County in honor of the longtime fair board president. The board’s current president, Kirk Conroy, said this year’s fair was just another testament to the hard work Brown put forth during his time on the board.
“We’re all excited about it being Dennis Brown Day,” Conroy said. “Everyone is excited about the fair this year. All the preparation is done, and it’s time to get rolling.”
Kim Viets, fair board member, said those who attend this year’s fair will be greeted by several new vendors, which proved the fair is still running at full steam.
“I think we’re going to have a great fair this year,” she said. “We have great vendors annually and this year we have vendors we’ve never had before. It’s really an exciting time for all of us.”