Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Volunteers Sought to Renew County Fair Tradition

Warren County has a long tradition of a county fair and a meeting will be held this evening (Tuesday, April 12, 2011) to help renew that fair tradition. 7,000 people attended the fair on a single day when it was held in Pottersville in 1913, but the current Warren County Fair
(since moved to the County Fairgrounds on Schroon River Road in Warrensburg), has suffered a series of setbacks that have made it one of the poorest attended county fairs in the state.

Those who attended the Warren County Fair in past still remember the carnival rides, midway, live entertainment, horse and pony pulls, and other activities and events that attracted visitors from all over the county and beyond.

The Fair has changed dramatically over time due to liability insurance restrictions and funding which has hindered the current operator of the fair, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), from being able to provide carnival rides, a midway, or even a simple attraction such as
a bouncy house, according to John Bowe, who manages the current one-day Youth Fair for CCE.

CCE’s Board of Directors has approved the formation of a Fair Association to take over development, promotion, insurance, and funding of the Warren County Fair, and a number of meetings have been held, but the future of the fair needs the input and support of local
residents, businesses, and organizations.

It’s expected that Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County will continue to manage and operate the 4-H youth component of the fair and be able to concentrate on the support and achievements of local youth.

Those who have attended the meetings have expressed an interest in creating a “Great Adirondack Fair” that draws on the traditions of the Adirondacks, and which can be a signature event for Warren County and wider region.

Those who would like to see the Fair return to the grandeur of yesteryear, are needed at the next meeting of the Fair Committee on Tuesday, April 12th at 7 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Education Center on 377 Schroon River Road in Warrensburg.

If you would like more information about the development of a Fair Association OR would like to register your support for a renewed fair, but can’t make the meeting, please call John Bowe at 668-4881 or email at jfb32@cornell.edu.

Photo: Performances at The Pottersville Fair in the early 1900s. In 1897, The Pottersville Fair advertised “a fine program of races consisting of trotting and pacing, running, bicycle, and foot races in which liberal purses and prizes are offered.” The fair lasted into the first half of the 20th century, and help convert Pottersville into a prime location for a variety of amusements, including the first incarnation of Gaslight Village.

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