If you’re one of those folks who are sad to see summer come to a close, you can turn that frown upside down with a visit to the Fonda Fair.

The annual event — which is in its 176th year — officially begins on Wednesday, but there are a couple of events planned for today.

The Miss Fonda Fair Pageant will be held at 3 p.m. and a free pre-fair dance with music by Peaceful Country Band will be held from 7 to 11 p.m.

On Wednesday, things really get going with agriculture contests, tractor pulls and, of course, the rides and the food.

The Fonda Fair is an important part of our heritage, reminding us of the Mohawk Valley’s deep agricultural roots.

The original version — held, by the way, on the current site — included horse races, produce displays, farm animals, handcrafts and commercial items. Sounds a lot like the lineup for this year’s edition, but some things, however, have changed.

In the old days, there were no tractor pulls, monster trucks or demolition derbies; no midway featuring whirling rides and bright lights. But crowds flocked to the fairgrounds nonetheless for what rapidly grew into an end-of-summer fling.

Indeed, the fair has grown and changed with the times, but there remains, on the part of our farming community, a deep-seated interest in keeping many of the original traditions alive. The passion with which those who still represent the agricultural community participate in livestock and produce competitions cannot be denied.

The pride on a youngster’s face as he or she parades an animal around the show ring remains proof that all of our ingrained traditions have not been shoved aside for the Tilt-A-Whirl, the ring toss, and the bloomin’ onion.

The fair is an annual tradition that ushers out the end of summer vacation season with a nod to our county’s roots. Do yourself a favor and check it out — it runs daily from Wednesday through Labor Day.