Community Commentary: End of 2011 O.C. Fair means a time to reflect on good times we had

See a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower.

William Blake, 1863

See a world in the fair at hand

And eleven for its wild power

Steven Beazley, 2011

The 2011 Orange County Fair was more than an annual event adding another rung to its 120-year ladder to the stars. It was more thrilling than a roller coaster, sweeter than a funnel cake, and cooler than the ice sculptures. It was, in a word, a world.

The 2011 Fair displayed the power of life: baby pigs were born, a fair employee was asked to enter into holy matrimony, and first love bloomed on first dates. A governor parted the clouds as pink slips turned to wine sips, 220,000 more people made the pilgrimage to the fairgrounds, as the masses raised and shone at the dawn of each Sunday (and Saturday). Friends reunited for the first time all year, as nature's air-conditioner was on high. Readers used their voice and cast their choice. Four teenage boys set a Big Time record for a musical gathering, the boy king Bieber appeared out of nowhere, and three wise men, Dylan, Cosby and King, delivered gifts of artistic magic. On the 24th day, the fair rested.

Now is the time that makes the farmer an artist: the time of fallow. It is the fallow that follows the previous fair to makes the next one possible. The bumper crop of 2011 has been picked, we answered the call to eat, and now it is time to rest and recover before planting seeds for the next cycle.

Before we look forward, let us never forget that whether it's 1911, 2011 or 2111, the O.C. Fair always has and always will create a world of connections, a garden of earthly delights and an intertwining of the past, present and future all simultaneously spinning on a single community axis.

Over 40 years ago, Paul Simon wrote "At the Zoo," a song echoing Blake's opening sentiment saying life in its entirety can be seen in one setting. This series of columns closes for 2011 with the opening lines to that song and a borrowing of that sentiment. Thank you for making the fair your focus for 2011. See you down the road.

Someone told me

It's all happening at the zoo.

I do believe it,

I do believe it's true.

Paul Simon, 1967

Someone told me

It's all happening at the fair.

I do believe it,

I do believe it's there … and always will be.

Steven Beazley, 2011

STEVEN BEAZLEY is the president and chief executive of the O.C. Fair. He has been writing a Tuesday column for the Daily Pilot on the insights and happenings for the duration of the 2011 O.C. Fair.

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