The new school year is less than a month away, which means fall is just around the corner. And with fall comes the start of some big-time sporting events.

The countdowns have already begun.

Arkansas Razorback football begins in 42 days and the National Football League’s new season kicks off in 47 days.

But you’ll have to wait a few days longer for the biggest one. That’s right, as of today we’re 52 days away from the biggest of all: Mutton Bustin’ at the Crawford County Fair.

Even though I didn’t grow up in an agriculture background I absolutely love the fair. Any fair. And that’s the great thing about the fair, you don’t have to be an expert on crops, livestock or canning to enjoy the fair and its midway. You don’t even have to have an appreciation for all the new deep-fried creations being deep fried up by the food vendors, although I will say I have had deep-friend Oreos before (I know, hard to believe) and they were delicious.

But you can still pass on some of those offerings and still enjoy the fair, although I don’t know why anyone would want to skip that part of the experience.

The Crawford County Fair will celebrate its 93rd year Sept. 9-14 at Kirksey Park in Mulberry. I arrived in Crawford County just in time for the 92nd edition and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even though I don’t do the rides, choosing to leave the space I would have taken up for the younger generation, I love looking at the displays, especially the flowers, vegetables and photographs.

And, of course, the mutton bustin’. You can’t watch that event and not leave with a smile on your face. Such little daredevils, living the dream of gearing up, stepping into the arena and climbing aboard a wild beast (ok, so that may be a little extreme) and trying to hang on for the ride of their young lives.

And there’s so much more to the fair.

Kirksey Park is a great facility for not only Mulberry, but also Crawford County. Which leads me to another point: The Crawford County Fair is just that, a fair for Crawford County. It’s not the Mulberry Fair. No matter where it’s held in this county, it needs to be supported by this county.

That doesn’t mean you have to create something to enter one of the many competitions at the fair. Not everyone can put a bunch of pickles in a jar and come away with a blue ribbon. Bea Taylor certainly taught us that when she entered her famous kerosene pickles for judging at the fair in Mayberry.

You don’t have to buy a cow from a high school agri student at the livestock barn to prove your support.

And you certainly don’t have to indulge in every food and drink being sold along the midway. Although if there are deep-fried Oreo cookies on the menu then, by all means, step up to the window with cash in hand.

The gate admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children (ages 5-12) Tuesday through Saturday. If you bring a canned good (one per person and not past the expiration date on the can) on Wednesday you get in free. A pass for the entire week is $12. Those passes can be purchased at Dickerson’s Hardware or at the gate on Monday and Tuesday.

Whichever way you choose to pay it’s a good bargain.

And it’s a good way of showing all those who work so hard to put on the fair how much you appreciate their hard work.

If you would like more information about the fair — schedule dates and times, exhibit entry rules, etc. — check out www.thecrawfordcountyfair.com.

In the meantime, remember this: 52 days to Mutton Bustin’.

Bennett Horne is the editor of the Press Argus-Courier and Alma Journal. Readers may email him at bhorne@pressargus.com