There Go the Pig Races
It's easy to say a county fair is a county fair is a county fair. And there is probably something about all of them that is familiar and yet isn't, something that makes each one unique.
But the Associated Press carried a story about a fair in the Eastern United States that has made changes to one of its apparently featured attractions because of disease concerns.
Now, I'm not passing judgment one way or the other. I'm only telling you what they're doing:
NEW YORK (AP) - Organizers of the county fair on New York's Staten Island are making a dogged effort to prevent the spread of swine flu.
The Staten Island Advance says this year's Richmond County Fair is forgoing pig races in response to a new swine flu strain. Instead, the Labor Day weekend fair will feature dogs running down an elevated plank and diving into the water.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Milt Wilcox owns Ultimate Air Dogs, which is hosting the canine caper. He's encouraging fairgoers to bring their dogs if they like to swim.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said the new swine flu strain is relatively mild. Some cases have been linked to fairs, so the health organization has encouraged people not to pet pigs.