Fair season gets under way in this area with today's start of the Afton Fair. The event runs through Sunday.
Despite the loss of the midway, "the Afton Fair is alive and well," according to a media release. "The Fair Board and volunteers are working hard to bring four days of family fun to the community."
Two messages left at the fair Wednesday were not returned. More information can be found at www.theaftonfair.com.
Gates open daily at 9 a.m. with general admission $3 per car or $1 per person walking through the gate. On Friday after 3 p.m., visitors can bring non-perishable food donations for admission. The donations support the local food pantry.
Perennial favorites at the fair include children's activity center, harness racing, small animal exhibit, youth dairy show, I-88 Speedway and fireworks. Each day of the fair has a unique theme; Thursday is Racing to Work, Friday is Education Day, Saturday is Health Day and Sunday is Artisan Day.
Upcoming fairs in the area also include the Otsego County Fair, which runs July 31 to Aug. 5. Entry clerk Peg Dutcher said: "Everybody is working to make sure everything is ready." Planning started during last year's fair, she said.
"The directors are here on the grounds getting everything ready and doing last-minute fixes," she said. "We anticipate this year will be as good, if not better (than last year)."
There has been a steady stream of calls from vendors, which is a good sign, Dutcher said. Sign-ups for animal entries close Saturday, and all other exhibits must be signed up by the following Saturday. Those categories appear to be at least on pace with last year's numbers, she said.
"This is always an exciting time of year," Delaware County Fair President Danny Hodges said. The event runs Aug. 13 to 18. With the fair in Walton and others around the area, "There is a lot of stuff going on."
The planning begins with the last day of the previous fair, he said. Right after, "we start meeting to see what worked and what didn't," and what improvements are needed. This year that includes a huge electrical upgrade to meet growing demands. "It's a good problem to have," he said.
The "love and devotion" from all those involved including directors and superintendents help make it a success, Hodges said. "People just love this fair and give it their all. I am proud to be a part of the organization."
The fair will continue the tradition of bringing quality country music along, with all the other attractions that people expect. On Aug. 18, Thompson Square will perform. The group recently won a CMT Music Award. Aaron Kelly, an American Idol finalist in 2010, is opening the show. "We've been very fortunate" in getting quality acts over the years, Hodges said.
The Afton Fair, which runs through Sunday, traditionally kicks off fair season for the area. Here is information about other upcoming fairs:
Schoharie County Sunshine Fair: July 27-Aug. 4, 113 Sunshine Drive, Cobleskill; http://cobleskillfair.com.
Otsego County Fair: July 31-Aug. 5, Morris; www.otsegocountyfair.org.
Chenango County Fair: Aug. 7-12, 168 E. Main St., Norwich; http://chenangocountyfair.homestead.com.
Delaware County Fair: Aug. 13-18, Fair Street, Walton; www.delawarecountyfair.org.