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July 31, 2013

Fair kicks off with 'perfect' weather

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The Otsego County Fair opened Tuesday with what organizers said was a typical crowd.

“It’s right in the ballpark of what we usually have opening day,” said Judy Harris, who has been managing director of the Otsego County Fair for around 15 years.

Tuesday was $1 admission and free parking at the fair. Adult admission is $5 and parking is $2 for the rest of the fair. Youth admission (ages nine to 15) will be $2.50, while those eight and under will be admitted free.

Harris estimated that there are over 100 vendors altogether at the fair this year, although she added that she’s never actually counted them all up. She said that this number of vendors was comparable to previous years.

“Our biggest event has got to be the demolition derby,” said Harris when asked about the most popular entertainment events at the fair, saying that the derbies fill the grandstand, which seats 3,000 people. “I think it’s a big draw for us because it’s local people.”

Derbies will be held Thursday and Sunday. Harris said the tractor and truck pulls were also popular events.

“We’re just hoping that the the weather holds, not too hot and not too rainy,” said Harris, saying that the weather Tuesday was perfect.

In terms of the livestock being shown, Harris said that there were fewer dairy cows and a few more beef cows, while pigs, goats and sheep were on the rise. She also said there was a decrease in the number of rabbits and chickens, but that this was partially due to limits, put into place this year, on the number of rabbits and chickens an individual could exhibit.

At the fair’s Flora Hall, vegetable, flower and cooking exhibits are down, while canning and cooking exhibits are up, according to fair treasurer Dick Ballard.

“The weather’s got a lot to do with it,” said Ballard, who has been managing Floral Hall for 25 years, adding that he still had enough entries to make a nice display in the building.

Lewis Miller has been president of the Otsego County Fair for 20 years, and a member of its board for 49.

“I think we got a good fair this year,” said Miller, when asked for his thoughts. “(I just) wanted to thank everybody who helped us make this fair.”

All members of the fair’s board of directors are volunteers. Miller said that he and the other board members had maintained the fair grounds this summer at no charge.

When asked if he might be considering retirement, Miller declined to comment.

“I ain’t going to say nothing,” said Miller. “That depends on how I feel.”

The Otsego Count Fair will run all this week, concluding Sunday. A full schedule of events can be found at