SANDY CREEK The Oswego County Fair Association wants you to keep coming back to the fair this week for more entertainment, rain or shine.
To peak new interests and attract more people to the 156th annual event, association members added new highlights, including a sanctioned rabbit show and more childrens activities.
I think what you absolutely have to maintain is kids, said Carol M. Sweeney, fair president. You have to offer what they need. Kids cant show at a state fair unless they show at a county level.
That goes for showing animals, crafts, fruits, vegetables and even in a talent competition.
Its also a learning experience, Mrs. Sweeney said. It also brings people in from other places to learn from them.
Since Onondaga County doesnt have a county fair, she said many children show their animals, products or produce during the Oswego County Fair.
Throughout the fairgrounds, off Ellisburg Street, children and adults toured the livestock barn, shopped at various craft and food vendors and enjoyed carnival rides. Thursdays rain saturated much of the fairgrounds, but fair attendees ducked under awnings or went inside buildings or their cars in between brief rain storms.
Rain didnt deter a crowd from coming, but Mrs. Sweeney said she could tell attendance is already down from last year and the fair just started Wednesday.
Yesterday was not a good day, she said Thursday. I bet we didnt have 2,500 people on the grounds yesterday, and usually we have about 5,000.
Eric J. and Ashley M. Stevens, Mexico, attended the fair with their 6-year-old son, Damien. They said they make the short drive north each year to support local businesses that offer their products there.
We also come here so he can do the saw dust hunt, Mrs. Stevens said, regarding one of the childrens activities. Its to have fun.
Both Mr. Stevens and Damien also participated in a skillet-throwing contest and also signed up for the hay-bale-throwing contest. Other Wednesday activities included a demolition derby, and goat, beef, magic, and old- time lumberjack shows. Fireworks went off at dusk.
Mrs. Sweeney said she hopes more families are able to come to the fair, which lasts through Sunday, since admission and parking are both free.
Even though things are getting better, its still challenging for people in our area, she said. We try to be cognisant of that, as tough as it is to make things happen. We have a lot of free things for the kids to do.
She said association members are already working on plans for next years fair, which include encouraging more participation of exhibitors.