NORWICH – The 175th Chenango County Fair opened on Wednesday afternoon following a ribbon cutting with fair volunteers and local officials.
The anniversary opening was celebrated with M&T Bank sponsoring free admissions all day long, a fire department parade, and fireworks.
Agricultural Society President Mary Weidman thanked volunteers and supporters during the ceremony.
A number of officials praised the work of the Agricultural Society and the importance of the fair to the community, including Commerce Chenango President and CEO Kerri Green, Chenango County Board Chairman George Seneck, and Norwich City Mayor Brian Doliver.
Seneck read a proclamation that said:
“Honoring the 175th anniversary of the Chenango County Agricultural Society and Chenango County Fair.
“The Chenango County Agricultural Society, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, was incorporated in 1847 and part of the Chenango County Fair's statement of purpose is to 'Present the annual Chenango County Fair in August providing the best public awareness of our major industry, agriculture, and a showcase for local livestock, products, and entertainment,” said Seneck.
“The Chenango County Fair is one of the longest running annual events in Chenango County, as well as in New York State – and the Chenango County Fairgrounds also provides an outstanding facility for the community to utilize throughout the year, including many popular events that draws attendees from throughout the state and nation.
“In recognition of the 175th anniversary, it is only fitting and proper that this board take a moment to reflect upon the past accomplishments and contributions that the Chenango County Agricultural Society and Chenango County Fair have made to the County of Chenango.”
Seneck also said he and local officials offered the fair and agricultural society their “best wishes.”
General admission to the Chenango County Fair is $8 for individuals aged 13 years or older, $5 for children aged five to 13, and children under five years old get in free. Additionally, fair memberships are available for $20, which provides entry into all five days of the Chenango County Fair as well as three grandstand events, not including the rodeo.
Wednesday's free admission day was also was kids' day at the fair.
Thursday is Senior Day, coordinated by the Chenango County Office for the Aging.
There will be special music and entertainment for seniors at the entertainment tent. There will also be bingo games, and BOCES cosmetology students are offer free services, including free manicures for people and free drawings.
Thursday will have drawings and displays in the entertainment tent sponsored by M&T Bank, and a beauty pageant for children and teens at 4 p.m. in the entertainment tent.
Country western entertainer Rylee Lum will be putting on a performance at 4 p.m. as well, followed by the Norwich City Band at 6 p.m., and the Empire State Pullers Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. at the grandstand.
A 4H livestock auction will be held at 6 p.m. in Follett Show Ring on Friday, and at 7 p.m. there will be a musical performance by Cassidy Lynn and Rylee Lum at the grandstand. On Saturday, visitors can enjoy watching the Chenango County breakaway roping winners' return to the rodeo at 1 p.m. at the grandstand, as well as a rodeo at 7 p.m.
DCMO BOCES will also be hosting events in the conservation area.
The Chenango County Fair is made possible by several sponsors as well as the hard work and dedication of the nine-member Agricultural Society board and numerous volunteers.
"We’re a not for profit organization and we’re a nine-member board, and everybody is a volunteer. We have three part-time employees and then get some people that come back and work just for the fair who are here only for the fair week, and our gate people up at the main gate," said Weidman.
-Evening Sun Staff Writer Sarah Genter contributed to this article