Fair officials looking to expand and upgrade site in Knowlesville

Photos by Ginny Kropf: The fair office at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds is a busy place during fair week. Discussing events are, from left, Brandon Johnson, entertainment chairman; Robert Batt, director of Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension; Natalie Mrzywka, summer assistant; and Kayla Sucy, volunteer.

Posted 25 July 2018 at 10:51 am

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

KNOWLESVILLE – Fairgoers will notice a lot of changes at this year’s Orleans County 4-H Fair.

During the opening ceremonies Monday night, fair manager Marty Zwifka said people might notice a lot of open spaces, and there was a reason for that.

On Tuesday, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension director Robert Batt explained the remark.

“When we built the new stage and tore down the old one, it freed up a lot space, giving us room to lay things out differently,” Batt said.

At their post at the information window at the Orleans County 4-H Fair are Sarah Ebbs, 4-H administrative assistant; and Aeddon Cayea, fair king and summer assistant.

A lot of other changes are in the works, as well. They anticipate a new show building will be ready for next year’s fair, south of the current show area.

“This will open up space for the dogs to be exhibited with the horses and the horses will have an indoor arena space,” Batt said. “All the goats and sheep will be moved across the creek.”

Money for the improvements will come from a $96,000 grant which was part of Governor Cuomo’s New York State Fair Infrastructure Program.

The fair is also excited about two new entertainment acts, Agripuppets Entertainment Show and Hansen’s Spectacular Acrobatic Sensations.

“We have been on a waiting list for seven years to get them,” Batt said.

“We got lucky this year, as this is the Hansen’s last season on the road,” said Brandon Johnson, who is in charge of fair entertainment.

Both acts perform several shows each day of the fair.

Batt said attendance on opening night was pretty impressive.

“We had more people than last year, in spite of the rain,” he said.

Wednesday is Senior Citizens’ day at the fair, with free coffee for seniors from 1 to 4 p.m. and lunch in the pavilion, with entertainment by David Marchione.

Also new this year is having the pie eating contest on Wednesday night. It was changed from Thursday to free up the stage for other entertainment and to provide more excitement on Wednesday. The donut eating contest will also take place Wednesday evening.

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