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With the cut of a ribbon, 200th Lewis County Fair is underway

With the cut of a ribbon, the 200th edition of the Lewis County Fair got underway Tuesday.
With the cut of a ribbon, the 200th edition of the Lewis County Fair got underway Tuesday.(WWNY)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:10 AM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Celebrating its bicentennial year, the Lewis County Fair’s 200th edition is underway.

There was a buzz at the fairgrounds for the first day of the fair, especially after the year’s absence.

It was a day that some had circled on their calendars and it all started with Tuesday morning’s festivities.

It began with a ribbon cutting. The ribbon was cut by fair president Doug Hanno’s grandchildren. It kicked off what Hanno is calling the biggest fair yet.

“Mainly because it’s the 200th anniversary,” Hanno said. “That 200 is a big accomplishment.”

The festivities started early. After the ribbon cutting, state Sen. Joe Griffo presented New York state Senate commendations to Hanno, local attorney Mike Young, and Lewis County public health director Ashley Waite.

Many in the crowd made their way over to the cheese auction. This year’s big cheese, a 20-pound sharp cheddar sold for $8,500 going to Lewis County Republicans and Dairy Friends.

“That’s by far the biggest we’ve ever had,” dairy building superintendent Gary Rosiczkowski said.

2022 New York governor candidate Andrew Giuliani got in on the fun as well, coming away with a five-pound steak house onion cheese for $250.

In total, the cheese auction raised $24,800, a one-year record.

“Some of it had to be because last year, we didn’t have an actual auction, we had a virtual auction,” Rosiczkowski said. “I think people were excited to get back to the fair for real. And they seemed to bring their checkbooks with them.”

Hanno says the fair is back to normal. All the rides, games, and food vendors are back, despite a trickier setup this year.

“Early on, we thought we were going to be running at 30 percent capacity,” Hanno said, “so when the governor announced that we could go wide open, we changed gears and we got things done that had to be done.”

And after the year’s absence, Lewis County natives have been waiting for its return.

“I really missed the food, I like the food here,” Matthew Sweeney said.

“Yeah, the food, the rides -- it just was not the same,” Josiah Weaver said.

There’s still a lot more to look forward to the rest of the week, like Thursday’s tractor pull and Saturday’s demolition derby.

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