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July 7, 2014

Delhi square becomes center of entertainment

By Cheryl Petersen Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — In the village of Delhi, the quintessential summer evening comes alive each Friday in July. Complete with fireworks, the 41st annual Delhi Fair-on-the-Square kicked off Friday.

Surrounded by clapboard church buildings and the brick Delaware County Court House, visitors come to what is known as Delhi Square for conversation, food and family entertainment.

The Fair-on-the-Square series continues July 11, 18 and 25. Events begin at 5:45 p.m. each week with the American Legion Post 190 presenting the Colors.

From 6 to 7 p.m., the Delaware County Community Band serenades listeners. People bring their own lawn chairs or sit on benches. Tables and chairs are set up for use at the base of the 49-foot tall Civil War monument, unveiled in year 1906 and centered in the square.

Seating faces the outdoor covered bandstand, with rails draped in red, white and blue. History buffs know the Delhi Bandstand made the cover page of the “Saturday Evening Post” on July 7, 1951.

Each week, a different band entertains from the stand stage starting at 7 p.m. Off the Record with Eric Hait will perform July 11. Dorraine Scofield Trio will perform country music July 18 and The Stoutmen will perform Irish tunes July 25.

Vendors lined the red brick pathway that cuts across Delhi Square on Friday. 

“The Kiwanis Club served 250 hamburgers, 200 hot dogs, and 220 pounds of hand-cut potato fries,” said Kiwanis President Seth Blocker on Friday. “This is the best Fair-on-the-Square I’ve seen in nine years.”

Children added to the upbeat milieu. The Delhi Rotary Club designated areas for children to test their talents at a basketball hoop, hacky sack throw, and golf putter. “Each child wins ‘Rotary Bucks’ to spend on their choice of gifts,” said Al Davino, Rotary member and volunteer.

Volunteers from Delhi and local organizations coordinate the Friday evening events under the auspice of the Fair on the Square Committee.

The tradition of honoring a new Fair-on-the-Square logo continued in 2014. Artists in the area were encouraged to submit a logo early in the year for a contest sponsored by the Delhi Women’s Club. The logo is printed on T-shirts, sold at a vendor table.

Logo winner and part-time artist Karen Graves of Delhi was presented with a check for $250. “I took photographs last year and digitalized a scene with people around the bandstand,” she said.

Her original piece is framed and will be raffled off July 25.

Other events scheduled for the rest of the series include the Ross Park Zoo Mobile visiting on July 11. On July 18, Chee Chee the Clown will perform a Magic Show and a bouncy house will be on site. On July 25, there will be a Soap Box tournament and Firefighter’s Parade. 

On Friday, volunteers from the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society showcased dogs and cats ready for a permanent home. “We had two kittens adopted this evening,” shelter volunteer Jesse Hubbard said. 

“This is the first time I’ve come to Fair-on-the Square,” said Walton’s Rich Michalski while licking a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone. “It’s great, a lot of fun.” 

His wife, Carol Michalski, was carrying fried doughnuts from Baker’s Dozen of Downsville.

Amid the hubbub, sitting on a bench people-watching, were longtime friends James Stewart and Bill Holland. Holland said: “Fair-on-the-Square is a positive way to spend an evening.”