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Editorial: Fair, National Night Out serve important roles

Rosemount residents will have two very different but equally excellent opportunities next week to celebrate and help strengthen their community.

On Monday, the 2008 edition of the Dakota County Fair will open its gates to the public. The following day residents will gather on streets and cul de sacs around the city for the celebration of National Night Out.

Both of these events celebrate significant milestones this year. The year 2008 marks the 150th year since the first Dakota County Fair was held, and this is the 25th year of National Night Out gatherings held to help introduce neighbors to each other in the name of making everyone safer.

National Night Out has become an increasingly popular event in Rosemount. In recent years churches and businesses have joined a growing number of neighborhoods holding events. Gatherings range from simple barbecues to parties with inflatable jumpers and other entertainment. However people choose to do it, we like the idea of neighbors getting to know each other better. We believe forming connections among Rosemount residents is one of the keys to helping the city maintain a small town atmosphere even as the city's population leaves the 20,000 mark behind.

The fair plays a part in that, too. It has been fixture in the county nearly every year since 1858.

This year more than ever the Dakota County Fair will tie Farmington to its past. Several events planned this year will celebrate the fair's sesquicentennial. It is a reminder that even as new developments go up agriculture still plays a significant role in the community. It's a good reminder of just what put the Farm in Farmington.

Get out to the fair next week. Gather with your neighbors. And when you do, remember there's a reason you live where you do. Think about home and take pride.