Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair wraps up with more participation than seen before

Published: Aug. 6, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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GOUVERNEUR, New York (WWNY) - Sunday wrapped up the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair.

President of the Fair, Beth Martin, says they estimate more than 30,000 people stopped by the fair this year.

She also says they saw more livestock participants than ever before. That includes cattle and sheep.

Other popular events of the fair this week include Band Day, Midnight Madness, and a concert featuring country artist Dylan Scott on Saturday.

“You know, some people think this a six day event and you flip on a switch, but trust me you don’t. It takes hours and hours, actually months and months of preparation, and we’ve had a terrific ground crew that we’ve had here that just made these grounds look phenomenal,” said Martin.

Martin says on the fair’s last day. the demolition derby never fails to drive those attendance numbers up.

For some like Brian Blair, the demolition derby at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County fair is a family tradition. His father David Blair Sr. recently passed away, and on Sunday he smashed in his father’s honor.

“I’ve been doing this for nineteen years. I started with my old man. It was a childhood memory, every summer, every derby that was around we were there,” said Blair.

Blair and his family brought several demo cars in memory of his dad.

“It’s been rough all day, he’s been on my mind all morning. He’s not going to be there to shake my hand when I leave to come out on the track. He was there every time telling me good luck,” said Blair.

Blair says his father was also a pioneer in the local demo derby community.

One of the kids smashing is Harold Clement’s son.

“I’ve been doing it since I was sixteen. My grandmother got me into it, and she’s been the one making the family do the derbies. My dad was into it for a little while, but he’s unable to do it now, but I got the little one here doing the power wheels,” said Clement.

Clement says he hopes his son carries on this tradition. He says there is no other feeling like being out in the pit.

“At first, you got all the butterflies in your stomach. Now when it’s the first hit, it’s game on, it’s just a big adrenaline rush, it’s fun,” said Clement.

This year around about 100 cars participated in demo derby waves. Waves which many say they will continue to be part of for years to come.