Gearing up for the Chenango County Fair

The 163rd Annual Chenango County Fair and Agricultural Exposition is less than a week away. Are you ready? If not, youíd better start gearing up. Thatís what Iíve been doing all week. Because I believe itís essential to be well and fully prepared for an event of this magnitude.

When I was growing up, Fair Week was all fun and games. I always looked forward to our annual trip to the Chenango County Fair. The animals, the rides, the games, and, of course, indulging in all manner of fair food Ė particularly cotton candy and fried dough ... I loved it all.

I still love all of those things. (Particularly the fried dough.) But when you spend as much time at the fairgrounds as I do during the course of the week, itís important to mentally Ė and in some cases physically- prepare oneself for the experience.

Last year, I lived and breathed the Chenango County Fair. Youíll remember, Frank had just had an accident, and Jessica had just had her second bouncing baby boy. (Whose first birthday was earlier this week, by the way. Happy Birthday, Braden!) That left Tyler and I to shoulder most of the coverage on our own. This year, thankfully, weíre at full staff.

Which is definitely a good thing, since Iím still working off the after effects of CCF162. But I learned a valuable lesson: man (or in this case woman) can not live on sausage and peppers alone. Or at least they shouldnít. And deep fried Oreos are an abomination. Tasty, Iíll admit, but an abomination nonetheless.

This is the point where Iím tempted to insert the phrase, ďbut I digress.Ē However, as one of our faithful readers pointed out last week Iíve been overusing it a bit lately, Iíll refrain. But itís definitely implied.

Now, back to my fair preparations.

One of my first was to hit the gym a couple of extra times this week. As a pre-emptive effort, you understand. Because while Iím limiting my sausage and pepper intake, and eliminating those evil Oreos, I still plan to indulge in a bit of fried dough. Specifically of the cinnamon and sugar smothered variety.

Which reminds me, I better add antacids to my shopping list. Preferably in a family-size container. And I better pick up some extra sunscreen while Iím at it.

Iíve already resigned myself to wearing comfortable, closed-toe shoes for the duration. Oh, how Iíll miss my summery sandals. But I know itís for the best. No one likes the sensation of fair mud between their toes. Or, for that matter, being caked with gritty fair dust.

Iíve already scoped out the fair schedule to ensure I donít miss any of my favorite events Ė like Thursdayís tractor pulls, Saturdayís demo derby and the great local bands in the entertainment tent. Iíd recommend you do the same. The schedule is posted on the fairís website, Conveniently enough, itís also in todayís edition of The Evening Sun. And all next week weíll be publishing the current and next dayís event schedule.

My camera battery will be charged up and ready to go, and yours should be, too. Because this year The Evening Sun will be holding an online photo contest. Post your favorite photos of the Chenango County Fair to our Facebook fanpage, and you could win a free one-year online subscription to our website. Categories will include food of the fair, animals, amusement games and rides, and last, but certainly not least, the Fair Hall of Shame. Details about the contest and how to submit photos are available in our print edition, on our website,, and on our Facebook page,

While youíre online, take a minute to look at the headshots of each member of The Evening Sunís editorial staff. If you can pick any one of us out of the crowd during fair week, youíll get a free Evening Sun temporary tattoo. (Just come up and tell us youíre a fan.)

See you at the fair!

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunmelissa.

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