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Fair Means Family

Staff Writer | August 20, 2022 1:09 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — For Dave and Sue Nussear, the North Idaho State Fair is more than entertainment, food and fun.

It’s family.

“We know them all so well, we get along and we help each other,” Sue said of those involved with the annual event. “It’s just a wonderful group.”

Dave Nussear served on the fair board for 26 years and now sits on the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo Foundation.

“We’ll be here every day,” he said, as they waited for the grand opening of the fair to begin on a sunny, 91-degree Friday afternoon.

“Not every day,” Sue said, correcting her husband, “but we’ll be here a lot.”

The Dalton Gardens couple were among about 100 people who attended the 30-minute ceremony that marked day one of the 10-day celebration at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

This year’s theme is “Salute to a Century” as the fair celebrates its 100th birthday.

It was patriotic, as expected, with a Color Guard comprised of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, the national anthem performed by the Lake City Harmonizers, speeches and a Century Farm Award presented to Don and Kathy Beck by the Idaho State Historical Society.

Eight-year-old Hank Jones, son of Ren and Amy Jones of Athol, cut the ribbon.

Jerry Johnson, fair board chairman, said he and the board of directors volunteer “more hours than you can imagine to make all this happen," to which the crowd applauded.

He said the fair has continually improved and today, is one of the “premier fairs in the whole northwest.”

“We outshine Spokane every time,” Johnson said.

The Becks, longtime fair supporters, said their Stateline farm has been in the family 118 years.

While pleased and proud to accept the award, Don Beck said, “Don’t think too much of it. All that it truly proves is that there were three generations of us that were too stubborn to quit.”

But on a more serious note, Don Beck said it’s an honor to farm.

“We have an opportunity to not just raise crops, but to hire young people and help them to mature and meet the demands that life places on them,” he said.

Kootenai County Commissioner Bill Brooks said the North Idaho State Fair is about people coming together.

“Truly apolitical and 100% community,” he said.

The fair is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and runs through Aug. 28.

Fair Means Family
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