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157th annual Oswego County Fair takes place through Sunday

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SANDY CREEK — For the past eight years, the Oswego County Fair Association hasn’t charged admission or parking fees during its annual fair.

Additional support is needed to keep it that way for next year, according fair President Carol M. Sweeney.

“We’re very fortunate that so far we’ve been able to be self-sufficient,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’re depending on assistance now because we have four roofs that need to be replaced.”

Inside the Oswego County Fairgrounds, off of Ellisburg Street, the metal roofs on the youth, commercial, natural resources and agriculture buildings are deteriorating.

The small building adjacent to the entrance also will be rebuilt.

“If we could get donations of materials and labor, it’d be super,” Mrs. Sweeney said.

While the association plans to put the project out to bid in the future, she said, any volunteer support also is appreciated.

The more help the association receives, she said, the less chance there will be for a parking fee next year.

Mary Kriner, who traveled to the fair from Minoa with her two grandchildren who live in Ellisburg, said while she’s enjoyed attending the fair a few times for free, she would pay up if need be.

“It would be OK if they kept it fairly minimal,” she said.

Mrs. Sweeney said the fair association’s real wish list includes major improvements to the main parking lot.

Due to heavy rain since the 157th annual fair began Wednesday, much of the main lot was unusable Friday,

“We do not have the proper drainage,” she said. “Our soil is clay so (water) just sits. What we’d like to do someday is put a good drainage system in. That’d cost about $20,000; that’s for the future.”

Until the association decides what it would like to do for sure, Mrs. Sweeney said attendees may still enjoy free parking and admission through the fair’s end on Sunday.

Today is Legislator’s Day, and Sunday is Family Day, with both days having a variety of food, and a variety of entertainment, including a saw-dust hunt for children, the Olde Time Lumberjack Show, youth dog show, demolition derby, youth rabbit show, and a BMX show which has an anti-bullying message.

Mrs. Sweeney said she enjoys the fair because it gives her a chance to get reacquainted with old friends.

“A lot come back to town for the 4th of July, and we have generations that come back,” she said. “It’s fun.”

Other highlights of the 2014 fair include a new reading program in the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department’s mobile unit, where children are read to and will receive an interactive stuffed animal that follows along with a story. Mrs. Sweeney said the National Guard also joined the fair for the first time.

For more information, or other fair highlights, call 387-3834 or visit www.oswegocountyfair.com.

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