Tonganoxie resident Mike Kissinger said the Leavenworth County Fair is almost in his backyard, and he meant it quite literally.
The Fair Board vice president and longtime board member lives roughly a mile-and-a-half up the hill from the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds in Tonganoxie, and he and other board members volunteer their time year-round organizing each year's installment.
The county fair, which began in August 1926, finished another year Saturday night. Billed as the "classic American experience," the fair offered games, pony rides, derbies, food, exhibits, music, 4-H projects, and more.
Kissinger said the summer event was again successful overall.
"The weather, really, was just tremendous," he said. "No rain, and it was really good the whole week.
"I think it was a very successful year. We had good numbers throughout."
The county fair drew an estimated 20,000-22,000 people during, based on parking numbers, which falls in line with prior years.
Brenda Taxeras, Leavenworth County extension agent, 4-H youth development coordinator, said more than 400 Leavenworth County 4-H members submitted 3,500-4,000 individual project entries.
Taxeras said each participating 4-H youth receives a ribbon for entering projects in the fair, though the type depends on the quality of the project. She echoed Kissinger when it came to the fair's success.
"I think all the (youth) had fun," she said. "The weather was great for us all week. Couldn't have asked for better weather."
Weather was a theme for commenters on the Leavenworth County Fair's Facebook page, who were asked their favorite aspects of the 2014 edition.
"The weather," Rhonda Berry wrote. "Great for the animals and attendees."
"The weather and the pedal tractor pull," Holly Reischman added. "The kids participating were a hoot to watch."
New elements to this year's fair included the addition of a monster truck in the annual demolition derby, and pony rides for children.
"Great derby," Kimberly Norton-Hatch wrote on the fair's Facebook page. "Loved the monster truck. Maybe Douglas County can learn something."
Whether it was new or old, Kissinger said most visitors could find something enjoyable to occupy their time.
"Most everything else was our standard stuff, but I think people came out and enjoyed them," he said.
Kissinger, a Westar Energy power plant operator and farmer on the side, said hosting the fair is a group effort by countless volunteers, including more than 20 board members representing communities throughout Leavenworth County.
And, those dedicated volunteers aren't taking much time off, he said.
"We're already starting on things for next year," he said. "It's a lot of work for everybody, and it's all volunteers, but (the fair is) very important to youth and the future of tomorrow. It's all about the kids."