Essex County fair board seeks ideas

The 165th Essex County Fair will be held from July 30 through Aug. 4 next year.

The 165th Essex County Fair will be held from July 30 through Aug. 4 next year. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The brains behind the 165th Essex County Fair brought their ideas for an exciting way to bring the members of the entire county together to celebrate and enjoy the event.

“We need to get out to the county that this is an opportunity to really invest in your heritage,” Harold Hance said.

The fair committee met on Nov. 26 for its special meeting and opened the floor to committee members’ ideas to attract more of the county’s 36,000 residents.

Bertha Rand, secretary for the Essex County Agricultural Society, said the society hopes to brainstorm fundraising ideas and other ways to support the fair. In the past, fundraising for the fair has primarily come from a car show.

“The last two years, our car show has been rained out,” Rand said. “We had a rain day last year and it rained harder on the rain day.”

The most important message they want the county to know is the fairgrounds, not the fair, is owned by the county.

“Most other county fairgrounds are owned by the local agricultural (groups),” Rand said. “Because we rent the space from the county, we don’t have the grounds to do year-round fundraisers like other fairs do.”

Hance proposed different ideas for year-round fundraisers at the meeting that includes participation from other towns in the county. The majority of the fair board members are from Westport and Willsboro.

Hance brought to the table alternatives for using the fairgrounds for fundraisers all year or branching out into the communities that aren’t immediately adjacent to the fairgrounds, such as the town of Minerva or other towns further away from Westport.

Fundraising ideas consisted of adding more coin jars in stores throughout the county, recruiting students at local schools to complete their mandatory community service for graduation at the fair, and bringing more to the front for passersby’s to see. Overall, the group wanted to bring in something different, unique and truely a symbol of the county’s unity.

The 165th year the fair is scheduled to take place July 30 through Aug. 4, 2013.

To submit any fundraising ideas or to submit a donation to the Essex County Fair, send an email to CountyFairFun@yahoo.com.

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