Remember Donnie and Marie singing “I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll?”
The Herkimer County Fair, which runs from Aug. 14 to Aug. 19 at the fairgrounds on Cemetery Road in Frankfort, is borrowing a page from the Osmonds’ book and using that phrase as this year’s theme that lends itself nicely to the slew of new entertainment that blends country and rock music.
The Van-Dells, Johnson and Company, the Carl Acoff, Jr. Show, the Fulton Chain Gang and the Carmine Dio Band will perform on various evenings throughout the duration of the fair.
Gerry Elthorp, treasurer of the fair, said the fair’s events are not meant solely to entertain participants. “The purpose of the fair — or any county fair — is agricultural education,” she said. “They don’t teach it in the schools, so we teach it at the county fairs.”
The agricultural programs during the fair include small animal judging; youth and open dairy shows; kiddie firematics; youth and open dairy goat shows; tractor pulls; an agricultural scavenger hunt; a youth horse show; open goat, beef and sheep shows; youth rodeos and Farmyard Olympics.
The fair has a long history — it started in 1841, and traveled from town to town as the Herkimer County Agricultural Society until the early 1900s. The current site hosted its first fair in 1958.
Despite its deep roots in the community’s history, Dick Elthorp, president of the fair association, said it is ever changing and adapts to the needs of the community.
“It changes every two years,” he said. “We have new entertainment coming in, and we’ve constructed new buildings to update the fairgrounds.”
Elthorp also emphasized the educational aspect of the fair, but said the event is essential because it brings in money directly to the community through the display of local items.
“We show new products and equipment each year that are used or produced in Herkimer,” he said.