While the dignitaries of old may not grace the podiums or parade floats, the importance of local dairy farming is still paramount at the 6th Annual Chenango County Dairy Day, as will be the culture, history and future of the industry that helped build this area.
“It’s a celebration of the dairy industry,” said Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Janet Pfromm, one of this year’s organizers. “But it is also inclusive of all agriculture within the county.”
Taking place this Saturday at the Chenango County Fairgrounds, Dairy Day will be filled with special activities and exhibits such as milking, butter making, ice cream raffles, sheep sheering, horse drawn wagon rides, pedal tractor pulls, antique tractor balancing and rodeos, puppet shows, historical displays, and oxen teamwork demonstrations. The day begins with a parade at 11 a.m., which will start at the P&C parking lot and head down East Main Street to the fairgrounds.
“It’s free family fun,” Pfromm said, adding that the combined effort of volunteers from various agricultural organizations, businesses, and communities will make for a great educational experience. “It gives kids and parents a better idea of where their food actually comes from.”
Re-instated in 2001, Dairy Day has pursued to resurrect a tradition that never had the chance to carry on after its initial success.
When the first installment commenced on June 28, 1941, then-City of Norwich Mayor Frank Zuber proclaimed it would be the type of event by which to measure all others. “It is a good day for Norwich and good for Chenango County,” he said. “I predict that within two years it will be one of the biggest days in the state.”
Within two years America was knee-deep in World War II, and Dairy Day went by the wayside, not to appear again for another 60 years...