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Some changes and new performers featured at the fair this week

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lew-E the Clown is making his debut at the fair this week. He is shown with Mac Batdorf, 7, of Holley, who joined him on stage Monday evening.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 23 July 2019 at 8:13 am

KNOWLESVILLE – While maintaining the traditions which bring visitors back to the fair year after year, it is also important to introduce new ideas and be willing to change, said Robert Batt, director of Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

This year’s fair, which opened Monday, is a perfect example of old and new.

Lyric Wallenda Arestov performs aerial acrobatics with Circus Incredible, one of the new acts at the fair this week in Knowlesville.

One new thing was restructuring the food court to make room for an eating tent.

“We have moved the food booths in order to have a tent with picnic tables to make it easier for families to eat,” Batt said.

New entertainment this year includes Circus Incredible, featuring Simon Arestov and Lyric Wallenda of the famed Wallenda family.

Entertaining for the first time is Lew-E the Clown, a clown with world-class credentials.

Nick Kagels introduced fair-goers to a macaw from Spirit Wind Farms in Sanborn. Kagels and his wife Laura also brought along two kangaroos and a very mobile tortoise.

A kangaroo and exotic animal exhibit are also new, as is ball bowling in the Lartz Building. A businessman in the Western New York area, who makes miniature bowling alleys, has brought one to the fair.

An old favorite, karaoke, has a new spin this year – it takes place every night, with contestants vying for a $1,000 prize in the finals on Saturday.

Batt just learned on Monday that yet another new act called “Little John” would be at the fair, beginning Wednesday. Little John demonstrates how to make brooms using natural materials.

Nikiesha Renko of Kendall sings “Traveling Soldier” by the Dixie Chicks during karaoke on Monday. This fair karaoke has been expanded to every night at the fair. The qualifying rounds used to be Monday through Wednesday with the finals on Thursday. This week there will be qualifying rounds Monday through Friday, with the top three each night advancing to the finals on Saturday with $1,000 up for grabs.

With all the new features, there are still plenty of old favorites to delight fair goers – the animal exhibits, 4-H entries in the Trolley Building, amusement rides on the midway, small fry tractor pulls, featured meals in the pavilion Wednesday through Saturday (including the very popular Cornell Cooperative Extension chicken barbecue on Thursday), Friday night fireworks and nightly greased pole competitions, concluding with the championships on Saturday.

While Batt admitted opening day is always hectic, he said it was wonderful to be in charge.

“I hope there are at least three 4-H youth here today who will grow up and come back to do what I’m doing,” he said.

Annalise Steier of Albion records her brother Evan Steier singing “Tequila” at karaoke. Evan advanced to the finals on Saturday.

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