The Herkimer County Fair is in full swing, a decades-long summer tradition that highlig hts the best of what Herkimer County has to offer, from agriculture to commerce.
“It’s about youth and agriculture,” said Herkimer County Fair Association Treasurer Gerry Elthorp before the start of Tuesday afternoon’s opening ceremony. “It’s about giving back to the youth of Herkimer County and it’s about giving back to our farmers. It’s going to be a great week.”
The fair got its start in 1841 as the Herkimer County Agricultural Society and traveled from village to village before it settled in the village of Herkimer in the early 1900s. By 1950, the fair had been incorporated and had begun taking place yearly in the village of Frankfort, where it moved to its permanent home on Cemetery Hill in 1958. Since the 1958 fair, which drew an attendance of 14,000 over four days, the event has grown to six days and attracts more than 60,000 visitors annually.
“We hope to attract more than 70,000 visitors this year,” said Elthorp. “We want to get above that 70,000 number. Weather-wise it looks like it will be pretty decent throughout the week.”
As in years past, food and rides will thrill visitors of all ages. Fairgoers will also be able to learn how to milk a cow and get an up close look at the farm animals they may have only read about.
“The fair takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people to come together,” said Robert Burge, pastor of Christian Assembly of Schuyler and chaplain for the 62nd annual Herkimer County Fair.
“We couldn’t do it without all the volunteers and all the superintendents that come back year after year,” added Herkimer County Fair Association President Dick Elthorp. “They make the fair go.”
Visitors this week can also look forward to tractor pulls, demolition derbies and live musical entertainment each night, as well as children’s competitions and family shows centered around this year’s fair theme, “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock and Roll.”
The Herkimer County Fair will run through Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults (individuals older than 11 years of age) and $3 for children. Children younger than five years of age are admitted free.
For more information about the Herkimer County Fair, go to www.herkimercountyfair.org.