GOUVERNEUR Rides, animal exhibits, local bands and cotton candy are only some of the attractions that will bring the entire county together in Gouverneur this week for the 162nd annual Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair.
The fair begins today and runs through Sunday, and offers free admission to the public with a $5 parking fee. Rides and shows will vary in price.
We try to make this a family fun fair and affordable, said Donald A. Peck, fair manager.
Mr. Peck said many people were bringing their cattle Monday and early today to the fairgrounds as vendors, concession stands and rides were being set up.
The rides are just coming in now and theyll be setting up today and tomorrow, he said Monday. We open at 4 p.m. to the public tomorrow for rides, and theres also harness racing tomorrow during the day.
Vicky M. Bice, Gouverneur, was at the fairgrounds Monday setting up her tent and new merchandise representing her shop, Bice Commodity. She said she has been participating in the fair for 15 years selling items such as oil lamps, candles, porcelain dolls and several other items.
Madisyn R. Wright, 9, and her sister Bailey E., 7, also spent most of Monday at the fairgrounds helping their father, John A. Wright, set up and get ready for the week. Mr. Wright is the owner of a cattle farm called Wright-Way, 3719 County Route 17.
Theres a lot of work and a lot of preparation and getting ready, Mr. Wright said.
Madisyn said she is excited about the fair because she owns three cows to show and her sister owns two.
I like going in the ring and watching all the people watch me when Im showing cattle, she said.
Mr. Wright said this will be his 24th year showing cattle at the fair, and altogether the family will show 18 cows, including Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss and shorthorns. Mr. Wright said he shows cattle at the county, state and national levels.
Basically, we use this county fair as a qualifier, he said. If our animals do well here then they go on to state level.
Mr. Peck said the fair has one of the largest cattle shows in the Northeast.
I think theres over 440 head of cattle, he said.
Mr. Peck said that in the past, the fair has had a huge impact on the community, bringing approximately 30,000 people out from all over the county and state to participate in the festivities.
Some people here this week will call next week and ask when the fair will be held next year, because they schedule their vacations around the fair and they come from hundreds of miles away, he said. Even some high school classes plan their reunions around fair week.
Mr. Peck said he hopes the weather will cooperate with the weeks activities.
Good fair weather is overcast; not too hot and no rain, he said.
Rides are being provided by Coleman Bros. Shows.
Mr. Peck said people can find more fair information and a list of scheduled events at www.gouverneurfair.net.