LOWVILLE — Lewis County Fair officials aren’t making big changes to their successful formula, aside from some facility upgrades made in the past year.
“We’ve done a lot of things here that have set us up for continued success,” said Dr. Harry P. O’Connor, president of the Lewis County Agricultural Society, which operates the county fairgrounds. “Everybody keeps coming back.”
While tried-and-true attractions are expected to bring people to the 192nd version of the fair from Tuesday through Saturday, a roughly $165,000 project featuring demolition of an old bathroom facility and construction of a new building — featuring shower facilities, two family bathrooms and nearly double the number of stalls and urinals — should add a little more comfort to their stay.
“We’ve replaced them with bathrooms that are state of the art,” Dr. O’Connor said.
The project, which also included the rerouting of some water lines and relocation of a fire hydrant that had been in the middle of a fairgrounds thoroughfare near the bathrooms, was aided by plenty of volunteer help from fair directors, keeping it affordable, he said.
“We’ve done a lot of the work on them ourselves,” Dr. O’Connor said. Exhibitors and other fair workers especially will appreciate the new facilities, he said.
The new bathrooms have been used for a few pre-fair events, including a July 4 cattle auction, Relay for Life and the Beaver Camp Auction, at the fairgrounds.
The fair again will feature free admission, and Dr. O’Connor expects the two free acts — Kid Davie and Animal Tales — to be well-received.
Kid Davie has a variety act featuring magic, fire-eating, illusions, juggling and others, while Animal Tales is to include a camel, llama, zebra and several breeds of horses and dogs.
“We give away an awful lot of stuff each year,” Dr. O’Connor said, commending local business sponsors for their support.
The theme of this year’s fair is “Lewis County fun ... The best is yet to come.”
Midway rides and games once again will be provided by Coleman Bros., which has added a couple of new rides this year, Dr. O’Connor said.
Grandstand shows will include a 4x4 truck pull Wednesday, a truck and tractor pull Thursday, country singer Randy Houser in concert Friday and a demolition derby Saturday. A “ready to run” derby car and truck will be auctioned off at the latter event.
Free concerts will be offered Wednesday night by the Salt City Brass Polka Band and Friday night by the Doubleshot Polka Band.
No dogs are allowed on the grounds, except for during the annual dog show at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The fair will begin Tuesday with a 9 a.m. 4-H English horse show and 10 a.m. opening ceremonies.
The 18th annual cheese auction — during which 20-, 10- and 5-pound blocks of cheddar cheese donated by Kraft Foods are auctioned off — will be at 10:15 a.m. in the Dairy Industry Building. The highest bidder will receive the title of “Big Cheese,” and Kraft plans to match the high bid.
New York-Vermont Stakes harness races will begin at 12:30 p.m., the village band will perform at 6:30 p.m. at the grandstand and the annual fair parade will be at 7 p.m., followed by a fireworks show at 10:30.
On-grounds parking will cost $3 per vehicle or $10 for a weekly pass.