County fair

Our summer news intern, Sarah Harris, was assigned the St. Lawrence County Fair for her final human interest feature.  Along with three others, I joined her yesterday evening on the excursion to Gouverneur.

County fairs have changed in the four decades I’ve been going–much of the change a result of small farms being consolidated into much larger enterprises. Still, some things are still the same, maybe just fewer people participating, like the kids and families tending to animals before and after judging.  And, fear not. The fair still provides unlimited fried dough and cotton candy, plus rides and midway games.

In the cow barn.

Still in the cow barn.

Young farmer tending his show cows.

 Okay, there are more animal pictures. The animal barns are my favorite. But if you want to see Sarah getting on and stumbling off the worst ride at the fair, scroll down. Now, more critters…

How now...

I’m not kidding, we all agreed this was the largest rooster we’d ever seen (a Cotswold, I believe)…

Blue ribbon boy.

Now, off to the midway and another kind of animal…

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

George said it was a slow night.

The fair is still the place to get information about agriculture, forestry and other land-based activities. One of our group, Mike, a Paul Smith’s College student, gathered up a stack of brochures on everything from maple sugaring to ag-generated plastic recycling.


At the dairy princess booth, we meet two good-will ambassadors.

We’ve eaten funnel cakes and slurped up the lemonade, wolfed down curly fries and barbequed pork, so it must be time to get on a ride that shakes you back and forth, tilts on a moving axis, and turns you upside down and backwards. Here come our intrepid Sarah and my son Jake. (Sarah is a smart young woman, y’know. But, in the interest of a complete story for NCPR…)

fair8-2010 019

The Zipper moves in every direction possible--fast.

Jake and Sarah locked in the cage...before.


The one they didn’t try:

Summer evening, a county fair.

Your favorite or least favorite memories of county fairs? What’s happening at your county fair this year? Leave a comment.

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1 Comment on “County fair”

  1. Sarah Harris says:

    In the immortal words of NCPR web guy Dale Hobson, “fried oreos and the tilt-a-whirl do not mix.” That said, the infamous Zipper is worth a spin–especially if unzipping your intestines is a favorite fair past time.

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