NORWICH – “Mom look at that,” exclaimed a young girl as she tugged on the hem of her mother’s sun dress and pointed at a yawning black leopard caged behind thin metal bars, the exotic animals just one of the many populating the Chenango County Fairgrounds. Everything from creatures as foreign to Chenango County as lemurs and tarantulas to those as commonplace, yet no less adored, as heifers and hogs can be found at the county fair, which is much more than just rides and sweet treats.
Agriculture has always been at the core of the fair, which has brought animal enthusiasts, farmers, and county residents in general together for generations. Some fairgoers bring their animals to showcase them before judges in the hopes of winning recognition, while others come just for the fun of it; to see friends and to have a good time. For most, however, regardless of their reason for attending, the fair is something they look forward to year round.
“I love the fair – a lot of long hours but definitely worth it,” said 4-H’s Janet Pfromm while taking a break from judging a goat competition. “I can’t even count how many ribbons I give away each year, I will go through at least 1,000 blue ones.”