Orleans County 4-H Fair will be back with just about everything

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 June 2021 at 1:38 pm

File photos by Tom Rivers: Amelia Paratore, 9, of Barre keeps her eyes on the judge while showing a dairy animal on July 26, 2019 during the grand master showman competition. 4-Hers will be back with their animals for the fair next month.

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County 4-H Fair officials announced this week the annual fair will be back and will include a full slate of activities, including the midway, 4-H exhibits and lots of food vendors with classic fair food.

The fair from July 26-31 will be limited to about 8,000 people per day with state restrictions, but the fair tends to stay below that number. The six-day county fair typically draws about 25,000 people.

New this year will be the sale of tickets online and they will be $5 each for a weeklong pass. If people don’t want to buy the ticket online, they can stop by the fairgrounds the week before and pay for a pass at the office.

The fair will sell 5,000 of the week-long passes, and then have 3,000 available as one-day passes each day of the fair. The one-day passes will be available online only and are $3 for 12 and older, and $1 for 11 and under, said Robert Batt, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, which oversees the fair. Tickets for the chicken barbecue and midway also will be available online.

“I think it’s going to be a great fair,” Batt said. “The midway and food vendors are all happening, and so are the 4-H exhibits.”

There will be some changes. The fair won’t have people at the front gates accepting money and people will need to park without assistance. The Medina Marching Band in recent years has had many of its students and parent volunteers helping with parking and traffic flow, but the band bowed out of the task this fair.

The Fair Board decided not to have the talent show on the Monday of the fair because the State Fair won’t be doing the talent show. The top Orleans entries advanced to the State Fair in prior years.

Instead, Batt said the fair is looking to add more bands for live performances. The entertainment for the fair will be announced in the next two weeks or so, Batt said.

The popular grease pole climbing competition also won’t be happening, but that was because the fair’s insurance provider balked at that event. The fair instead is having a different zany competition to cap off the day’s activities. The new event will have teams of two people pushing a giant round hay bale.

Jeremy Neal, the grease pole chairman, is heading the effort of the new challenge. He is experimenting on the course and size of the hay bales.

The hay bale rolling event will be open to competitors 16 and older. That is 2 years younger than the cutoff for the grease pole.

Tamara Huzair of Lyndonville sings “Somebody to Love” by Queen during karaoke in July 2019. Karaoke is among the many fair favorites that will be back next month for the week-long event.