It is a busy time in Southwest Missouri this week.

Of course, the Newton County Fair is up and going. The fair will continue until Saturday night (see preview story in Sunday’s edition).

I enjoy going to the fair – either covering it for the newspaper or just going as a spectator, seeing youth showing off their livestock, indoor exhibits and having smiles on their faces as they talk to people walking around. These youth put a lot of time and effort, and money, to go to the fair.

As I am writing this column, I remember the first time that I went to the fair. It was with my brother, Greg, and we went with one of his friends he played baseball with. His friend was showing animals at the annual event.

I remember that there was a lot of livestock ranging from chickens to pigs to cows and goats. To my knowledge, there was not a lot of show barns back then. My has the fair grown.

We stayed all day walking around and drinking lemonade and looking at the various animals. It was a fun event.

Both Newton and McDonald county fairs are not the only ones I have been to.
My parents took the family up to Sedalia, Mo., to the Missouri State Fair when I was around 10 years old.

While up there, we also had the opportunity to see some concerts such as Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys and Willie Nelson.

We also went on some of the carnival rides that were up there at the state fair.
I encourage you if you have the opportunity to go out to the local fairs and support the youth. They certainly have put their heart and souls into this. Plus, you can listen to live music, partake in some food, ride the carnival rides and even see some of the local businesses showing off their products.

The second event this weekend is the 71st annual Carver Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond. (See preview story in today’s edition on the event).

Carver Day has a lot to offer for everyone. There is music, hands-on activities, food, take a nature walk and learn about the famous scientist from our backyard.

The third event is on a personal note for me. It is my 25th class reunion for the East Newton High School Class of 1989. The event will be held on Saturday with a couple of things from a get together in the mid-morning at Big Spring Park and then to a catered dinner at the Flower Box Theater. Looking at some of my classmates who have signed up on Facebook saying that they are coming, there is a few of them that I have not seen literally since we graduated or from our last reunion which was our 10th reunion. We are all excited about this and I know that I am also excited to introduce them to my wife, Tina.

Todd G. Higdon is a staff writer and writes a weekly column for the Neosho Daily News. He can be reached at Follow him on twitter at  @toddghigdonNDN