Rides running, events happening despite fewer volunteers at fair

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 3:11 PM EDT
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GOUVERNEUR, New York (WWNY) - The rides at the Gouverneur-St. Lawrence County Fair are up and running after being closed Tuesday night due to a lack of help. But, even with fewer volunteers this year, the fair is going strong.

“We’re here. Feels good. It’s nice to see people coming out and enjoying themselves,” said Don Peck, fair manager.

But behind the scenes, it has taken a lot of work to get here.

“We have a few people that work fair week, do our gates, do our bathroom, do our parking. Normally we have 25 or 30 applications. This year we have, like, nine,” said Peck.

Even with what Peck calls a “skeleton crew,” events at the fair went off without a hitch, including the annual flower show.

“The Wednesday show has the arrangements, potted plants, and window boxes,” said Terry Streeter, flower show superintendent.

Each display is set out to be judged and is more unique than the next.

“Fourth of July, we’ve got Valentine’s Day, we’ve got Halloween,” said Streeter. “There’s a lot that they can choose from.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Gouverneur-St. Lawrence County fair without some cows. Kids through 4H and Future Farmers for America were judged on their cow-leading skills.

“I look at the pace that they’re walking, if they’re looking at me or if they’re distracted by objects around the ring, if they know how to set the feet up correctly on the animal,” said Sharla Woodrow, judge.

The hardest part: the cows they lead aren’t even theirs.

“They ask to use other cows from different people so they have a different experience with a different cow,” said Woodrow. ”It tests their leadsmanship skills.”

To 13-year-old Bella Perretta’s surprise, she went home with the prize.

“I’ve never shown a cow before. This is my first time even showing one,” she said.

A natural-born leader, who now qualifies to head to the big show at the State Fair.

“I’ll probably do it again next year. I could go to state, but I’m not sure if I will this year,” said Perretta.

Whether you stopped in for the rides, the flower show or to look at some cows, it’s just the beginning of the Gouverneur-Lewis County Fair.

“It’s a free gate admission, just $5s to park. So come and enjoy the fair,” said Peck.

The popular firemen’s parade starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the grandstand and the midway is open until 11 p.m.

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