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Looking for an end-of-summer day trip with a quintessential Missouri experience? The Missouri State Fair might be just the ticket.

This year’s fair again uses the slogan “Come Home” as a call to visit the comforting event, which many consider akin to a family reunion.

If you have an interest in Missouri — you likely live here if you’re reading this — you’ll be hard-pressed to find more representation of the Show-Me State in any other event.

You’ll find contests featuring the state’s best agriculture, art and other competition entries. Some of the competitors are from Jefferson City.

The fair organizers work hard to come up with new and different features each year.

As we recently reported, this year’s fair will pay homage to Scott Joplin, who lived in Sedalia, which hosts the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival each year. Different ragtime performers will be featured as part of the free entertainment.

Also, this year is a new Military Flag Retreat Ceremony, which will be done daily and in addition to the fair’s existing Military Day, which is set for today. The ceremony will include lowering the flag that’s been flown over the fairgrounds for the day, having soldiers from the National Guard fold it and present to a veteran or active duty military member who is being honored.

Other new events include honoring the 40th birthday of the Happy Meal through a partnership with McDonald’s; the 75th birthday of Smokey the Bear (which fell on the same day as Missouri Department of Conservation Day); the 40th anniversary of the Pork Place, an iconic eatery; and the 20th anniversary of the Gerken Dairy Center, with a birthday cake and a butter sculpture of Bessie the Cow.

Of course, the fair also will have all the usual attractions, from games and rides to a vast array of delicious, if not healthy, food stands.

We encourage you to “come home” and spend a day at the Missouri Fair, taking in some of the new attractions as well as the tried-and-true ones you’ve come to expect.

News Tribune

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