The EMS staff deals with a constant flow of bee stings, bumps and bruises, as well as “horse bites, derby incidents, and bull riding injuries,” Phoenix said.
Phoenix and the rest of the squad navigated the crowded fairgrounds via golf cart, and used mobile equipment supplied by Delaware County emergency units and fire departments. But Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond chose a more old-fashioned means of transportation.
While in uniform, DuMond traveled the crowds as a mounted patrol on three different days.
“From the horse, I could see over the crowd. And, I could get around quicker,” he observed.
On horseback, DuMond was able to navigate between the parking lot and the fairgrounds with swift ease. “The fairgoers like the mounted patrol too, they can pet the horse or give the horse treats,” added DuMond.
While he was only on duty for a few days of the fair, DuMond said he was at the fair “all week, 24/7,” noting that attendance was definitely “comparable to other fair years.”
Abby Wilson, longtime fair vendor with Maple Shade Farms, agreed.
“Once the cold rain stopped, people came, and I think attendance could be up compared to other years, because the weather at end of the week was really nice,” she said. “It felt like a bustling busy crowd during the weekend evenings.”
Franklin Mayor John Campbell, whose family was at the horse barn throughout the week, called the weekend evenings “mobbed.” Campbell said that, although a few of the horse classes had fewer exhibits this year, the hunter and western classes were full.
“This is the second year that fairgoers were asked to fill out exhibit entries online,” Hodges noted. “Transitioning to an online entry system probably resulted in fewer exhibits, however, entering online saves on paper. The Fair Board will continue to revisit how to make exhibit entries user-friendly.”