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Fair attendance estimated at nearly 25,000

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Phoebe Kirby, left, and Kasey Neal of Albion are delighted with the ride on the Midway on Saturday, the last day of the Orleans County 4-H Fair for 2015.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – The 2015 Orleans County 4-H Fair may be history, but there’s a lot of work to do to clean up the fairgrounds, animal/exhibit buildings and food stands following the festivities. 4-Hers, leaders and family members gathered Monday evening for a clean-up workbee. Here, 4-H’ers scan the grounds for garbage. Participants enjoyed a corn and hot dog roast following their efforts.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski – 4-H’ers (and sisters) Gracie and Sadie Gregoire of Murray found some interesting items left behind by fairgoers and participants during a clean-up of the fairgrounds on Monday evening.

KNOWLESVILLE If the weather cooperates for the six days of the Orleans County 4-H Fair, attendance generally falls in the 25,000 to 30,000 range.

However, if it is stiflingly hot or if there is a lot of rain, attendance will usually fall below 25,000, said Robert Batt, a 4-H educator who also helps run the fair.

The fair started off slow last with temperatures near about 90 degrees from Monday through Wednesday. That kept many people home. The temperatures were more bearable the final three days of the fair and the community turned out in droves.

The attendance for the fair is estimated at 24,233. Batt said the Fair Committee uses a formula that includes 3 people per car as well as other factors.

“Overall things went very well,” Batt said.

Fair-goers were very positive about the Pork Chop Review, which included trained pigs doing stunts. Other mainstays – the 4-H exhibits, livestock competitions, grease pole, karaoke, and bands – also proved popular.

“We just continue to be a traditional country fair that reflects what our community is about,” Batt said.

He praised a dedicated group of many volunteers for organizing and running the annual event. Lynn Hill is the fair manager and Mark Moore is chairman of the Fair Committee.

The 4-H program is seeing a surge in membership. About a year ago there were 300 members. Now there are 422 youths, ages 9 to 19, in the program.