Morgan Frisch/Recorder staff Lyndsay Lombardoni, 13 and Bradley Lomardoni, 10, of Fonda, pictured Monday at the Fonda Fair.
By MORGAN FRISCH
Recorder News Staff
FONDA — Every Labor Day for the last 10 to 15 years, Lorraine Grant, of Clifton Park, has traveled to the Fonda Fair to see Clydesdales or watch the tractor pulls. This year was no different.
“Every Labor Day we to come to Fonda,” Grant said. “It’s a nice country feel.”
Monday was the last day of the 176th annual fair which began on Wednesday.
Fonda Fair Board President Richard Kennedy said Monday that this year’s fair went extremely well. He said that “weather makes all the difference” noting that up until Sunday, it was gorgeous.
Kennedy estimated previously that the fair sees 70,000 people coming through the gates each year. He could not give an estimate for the total number of people this year but said total figures would be discussed during October’s fair board meeting. Kennedy estimated that the fairground saw a crowd of approximately 12,000 to 15,000 people on Saturday but with Sunday’s rainy weather, he expects the numbers may have dropped by the end of the weekend.
“Saturday had to be one of our biggest days in 20 years,” Kennedy said.
He believes Saturday was a “record day” because people might have made their trip to the fair knowing the weather was expected to be poor on Sunday. Kennedy said local band Skeeter Creek and the new Monster Trucks and Motorcycle Show also attracted attention.
Kennedy said when the fair board meets in October they will analyze the numbers for the week and what events they felt people were attracted too.
“It’s been very successful this week,” Kennedy said. “The rain yesterday [Sunday] just helped to keep the dust down for today [Monday].”
One of the biggest changes for the 2017 event was going from a seven-day to six-day fair. Kennedy said this worked out fine and since the fair is mostly ran by volunteers it gave them more time to prepare and was less stressful.
Despite the rain on Sunday, the Convoy for a Cause had a tremendous turnout, Kennedy said. There were 188 vehicles counted that went from the Beech-Nut facility on Route 5S to the fairgrounds. A total of $7,025 was raised and will be split between the Leatherstocking Honor Flight, which flies veterans from this area to Washington D.C to visit the war memorials and the WGY Christmas Wish.
Another change to this year’s fair was having the six-horse Clydesdale hitch on the grounds everyday.
“People enjoyed being able to see the horses,” Kennedy said.
John Leavitt, of HBH Clydesdales in Carlisle, said the fair queens were brought into an event using his horses and people could see demonstrations of the Clydesdales everyday.
“We’ve had an especially good crowd reaction for them,” Leavitt said, adding he plans to return next year.
Kennedy said other popular events were the K9’s in Flight and Rosaire’s Royal Racers, pig races. He mentioned that on Saturday the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter, from Sprakers, was present and it helped to get the word out about their organization.
Kennedy said the total figures would also depend on the last day of the fair. Around 2 p.m., Monday the fairgrounds were crowded and finding a parking spot was a challenge.
Paige Cook, from Schoharie County, was looking at the rabbits with her children Monday afternoon.
“I came just taking the kids out and they wanted to go on the rides,” she said.
Abby Burkhart, of Fort Plain, said she comes to the fair every year. She was also looking at the rabbits.
“I’m here just for fun and to hang out with my friends and to see the truck pulls,” she said.
Burkhart said she works for one of the farms that shows their cows at the fair and she likes to come and support them.
Laura Canfield, of Fort Johnson, was walking around the midway with her grandson. She said his parents usually bring him, but he came with “nana” this year.
“I want to come see the derby cars,” three-year-old Tyler Rose, of Johnstown, said.
Lyndsay Lombardoni, 13, of Fonda, and her brother Bradley Lomardoni, 10, rode the Sizzler together. Lyndsay said they come to the fair every summer, but this time they brought a guest.
“We are hosting an exchange student from Spain and we wanted him to have a good time,” she said.