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Carthage celebrating return of St. James Fair

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - Last year St. James Church in Carthage celebrated its bicentennial. This week there’s even more to celebrate: the return of the St. James Fair.

The fair has been a variety of things to the people of Carthage - church fundraiser, social hub, cultural expo, and most recently, a fond memory.

That’ll change this Thursday when the fair springs back up for the first time in two years. Setup chairman Joseph Margrey says he’s feeling optimistic about how this will impact the event’s turnout

“We expect this year being the first one after two years of COVID that it’s going to be well attended,” he said.

The volunteer workers at St. James have turned the fair into a well-oiled machine. Over time, they’ve knocked the setup process down from 1 week to two days. Parishioner Jim Cassoni says this process is both grueling and rewarding.

“Lotta work setting up. Also a lot of fun for the community. Us workers ribbing each other makes it fun too,” he said.

Throughout the fair’s 48-year run, people have flocked to St. James to try the assortment of food offered. Like previous years, several culinary staples come courtesy of Carthage’s Lebanese population. Standout items include stuffed grape leaves and kibbe.

“They do it all in their own kitchen. They bring it all up here. Then they donate everything that they do to the fair. A lot of people come just for that,” said Margrey.

In addition to food, the fair will also have quite a few rides courtesy of Ontario Amusement.

“You’ll have the Ferris Wheel. Some big rides for the adults and older kids. Then there’s the classics for the younger kids,” said Margrey.

The fair will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Thursday and Friday. On Saturday it runs from noon to 10.

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