Midway returns for milestone year at Afton Fair

AFTON – If two years without a midway ebbed participation at the Afton Fair, event organizers say this will be the year to recoup attendance with the return of a midway for the fair’s milestone 125th annual go-round.

The 125th annual Afton Fair kicks off Wednesday, this year with Gillette Shows providing rides and games that have been missing from the fair since 2011. The Afton Fair Board says the midway is undoubtedly the highlight of this year’s festival, likely to bring in more excitement and more visitors to the fairgrounds.

“This is really monumental for us because we have been so long without a midway. I think it really affected attendance and hurt morale too,” said Rhonda Barriger, director of the Afton Fair Board.

Set-up crews rolled into the fairgrounds early Monday to piece together games and rides for the longstanding four-day festival – the only town fair that remains in Chenango County, Barriger noted. “Unfortunately because we are a smaller fair, a lot of midways are going to where there are bigger fairs in a better economy; so we’re very fortunate to have one back.”

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