Summer is in full swing, and one of the annual traditions of the season is upon us: The Fair.
It’s time for livestock competitions, amusement rides, demolition derbies, live entertainment, and much more.
Mark your calendar, so you don’t miss these great opportunities to party with your fellow community members and enjoy some summer fun.

* The 134th Troy Fair is finishing up Saturday, Aug. 1 at Alparon Park in Troy, Pa. Visit the Web site for a schedule of events.

* The 135th annual Broome County Fair runs through Sunday, Aug. 2 at Whitney Point Fairgrounds. Click on the link for directions and information.

* The 167th annual Chemung County Fair will be held Tuesday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 9 at Chemung County Fairgrounds on Grand Central Avenue in Horseheads. The gates open at 11 a.m. daily. Visit the Web site for details.

 * The 43rd annual Tioga County Fair takes place Aug. 10 through 15 at Tioga County Fairgrounds, midway between Mansfield and Wellsboro, in Whitneyville, Pa. Head to the Web site to learn more.

* The mother of all fairs – the New York State Fair – kicks off Aug. 27 and runs through Sept. 7 in Syracuse. There will be lots of great entertainment, including performances from Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney and The Fray, in addition to displays and more. Visit the Web site for a complete schedule.

Here are a few other special community events this weekend:
* Catch great musical theater in The Valley where “Grease” is being performed at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, Aug. 1, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at The LOOM, 439 Waverly St. in Waverly N.Y. Tickets are $15, students and senior citizens pay $13. Call (607) 565-4221 for tickets or click on the link for more information.

* Get your bocce ball on at the Schuyler County Italian-American Festival, kicking off today and running through Sunday, Aug. 2 in Watkins Glen. There will be a pasta-eating contest, parade and fireworks, in addition to several demonstrations and displays. Check out the Web site for a complete list of events and more.

* Binghamton’s 25th annual Speidie Fest and Balloon Rally starts today and runs through Sunday, Aug. 2 in Otsiningo Park. Enjoy tasty eats, peruse cool crafts and watch colorful hot air balloons take to the sky (the weatherman predicts a dry Saturday, at least).

** Finally, in keeping with Pres. Obama’s Call to Service, help Goodies for Our Troops assemble care packages to be sent to deployed troops from the area, from 1 to 7 p.m. today and Saturday, Aug. 1; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at Park Hill Manor in Wellsboro, Pa. Donate a few hours of your time to provide our servicemen and women with some comforts from home.

I got an email from a reader who laments the lack of events where singles can meet:
Bars are probably the absolute worst place to try and find other singles,” he writes. “They are crowded, loud and most of the people are there for 2 reasons – to get drunk or to score a one-night stand. It’s hard for someone to be themselves in that atmosphere.”
The Twin Tiers is usually described as a “great place to raise a family” which doesn’t help those who haven’t yet met a mate.
If anyone has ideas of places or events where singles can mingle, send ’em my way.