Fair opens with flag-raising by veterans

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jim Freas from the VFW in Medina, standing at center, gets chuckles while giving instructions to the Sheriff Randy Bower, front right, and his deputies prior to the opening ceremony at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Posted 23 July 2018 at 11:22 pm

Opening day ceremony held by expanded pavilion with new stage

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

KNOWLESVILLE – The 2018 Orleans County 4-H Fair got off to an official start Monday night with a flag raising ceremony at the new flagpole located on the south end of the Buzz Hill Education Building.

The new location is one of several changes at the fair this year, according to Robert Batt, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, who welcomed fairgoers from the new pavilion and Talis Equity stage.

The traditional flag raising featured members of all branches of the military from veterans’ groups throughout Orleans County.

Veterans from four branches of the military wait to raise the flag in the opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. From left are Dan Barnard of Medina, Marines; Mark Traxler of Lyndonville, Air Force; Tony Vicknair of Lyndonville, Army; and Ron Ayrault of Holley, Navy.

Bugler Russell Young of Medina played Taps as Mark Traxler and Tony Vicknair raised the American flag.

From there the ceremony moved to the new Talis Equity stage, where Batt introduced fair manager Martin Zwifka, king and queen Aeddon Cayea and Riley Seielstad, Senator Rob Ortt, Legislator Bill Eick, Albion Mayor Eileen Banker and a representative of Governor Cuomo’s office.

Batt said the new stage was just one of the many changes in store for the fair.

Mark Traxler of Lyndonville raises the flag during opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. Standing at attention are Ron Ayrault of Holley, left; Jim Freas of Medina, (back to camera) and Steve Johnson of Lyndonville.

Zwifka said it had been hectic, but they pulled it all together.

“We want to make this the best fair we can,” he said. “If you notice things are spaced out more – there’s a reason for that. There are many changes to come.”

Ortt said he spoke for himself and Assembly Stephen Hawley, who was stuck at Atlanta airport, when he praised the fair.

“This is the only fair I know of which starts with a ceremony honoring the veterans who made it possible for us to be here,” Ortt said.

Veterans from throughout Orleans County line up for the flag raising ceremony to officially open the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night.

The state senator also praised the farmers and agriculture, which is the number one job in New York state.

“You can’t grow anything on Wall Street,” he said.

Eick called the Orleans County fair a “fair for kids.”

“A lot of the kids here today are fourth generation 4-H’ers,” he said. “Fifty-five years ago I started showing cattle here in the Lartz Building. We’re here on this new stage which has just been built. That’s how far we’ve come.”

Fair royalty Aeddon Cayea, king, and Riley Seielstad, queen, shared what 4-H meant to them during opening ceremonies of the Orleans County 4-H Fair Monday night. At right is fair manager Martin Zwifka.

Seielstad shared the fact 18 years ago she celebrated her first day at the fair in her stroller.

“The fair has given me fantastic experiences and a world of opportunity,” she said. “Orleans County is home to a very talented group of children.”

Cayea said he grew up showing animals at the fair, and now he gets to work here as a fair assistant. He said he has a greater appreciation for the efforts from many volunteers and staff to make the event possible.

Nyla Gaylord, director of the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, paints a flower on the cheek of Lila Rose Buzard, 3, at the Best Friends’ booth in the Trolley Building on opening night of the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

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