Exhibitor mulls low fair turnout

To the editor: For the record, I exhibit in Floral Hall, as an individual. This year reversed a trend for more exhibits in that area, pathetic in numbers! Thanks to the organizations and venders who, together with some Essex County Gardeners, made in every other respect, attractive and interesting exhibits. For my part, gone are the days of Wes Simpson (Whallonsburg) who in his day raised and exhibited the finest gladiolas in the county and the Grange exhibits that took up the end of the hall where we now find the individual exhibits. Nonetheless, so many people make and grow things throughout the year. Little do they realize that with a little thought, those items could be exhibited. A little promotion on the part of the Fair Committee person responsible could improve the situation. When I first studied the Fair Handbook, the initial reaction was dismay over the low prize amounts, in what could be a very competitive vying for those once coveted ribbons. Once discovery made that with a membership, one could enter just about as many items as they wished that gives one free pass for each day of the fair! We could use a detailed write up, about two weeks before the fair for artists, photographers, gardeners, crafts people, seamstresses, jelly makers and those who still can tomatoes! The various small fairs that take place throughout the county, primarily for the purpose of sales, supports the fact that Essex County is by no means a desert when it comes to Homemaking and Crafts or Arts to exhibit at Floral Hall. As for improved buildings, would it really help? Maybe, even with reduced numbers of farms, we still have the small hobby farmer that for whatever reason, fails to attract exhibiting. Perhaps everyone is too occupied working to take time for our old tradition. Oh, the rides! How refreshing to have a Ferris wheel, missing from many of the previous fairsand the fire worksrecalling the days when a grand display made up the final evening of the fair attracted families much as the present day Demolition Derby. What to do? Perhaps our life has become too fast for something that clearly should be approached with thought, patience, a relaxed attitude with a little nostalgia rubbed in. Sue Sherman, Westport

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