Planners hope to revive County Fair

WARRENSBURG - A revitalized Warren County Fair could recapture its former success by offering a midway, amusement rides and a variety of Adirondack-themed contests and demonstrations, potential fair organizers said Monday at a meeting to revive a traditional annual event that has been dormant for nearly a decade.

A total of 17 people interested in bringing the Warren County Fair back to life discussed ideas that included moving the fair to a new site and coupling it with other entities or existing area events to boost its fortunes.

Two representatives of The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom amusement park - Mike Wood and Rebecca Close - suggested hosting the fair at their facility as a way to combine top-quality amusement rides with traditional fair activities.

The planning group members, on the verge of forming a fair association, were receptive to the idea, despite the difficulty of planning event around The Great Escape's busy season of July and August.

The Warren County Fair in recent decades had been sponsored and managed by Warren County Cornell Cooperative Extension, which is seeking to turn over its role to an independent fair association, due to the greater flexibility and lower event liability insurance costs of an independent organizing entity.

Such concerns, plus hefty financial losses, led to the conversion in 2002 of the Warren County Fair from a popular multi-day event with entertainment and rides and well-known regional entertainers, to a one-day youth fair that was focusing on 4-H activities.

That downsized event is to be held again in 2011 on Aug. 6, and is to include a sustainable living expo. Beyond this next year, however, Cooperative Extension officials, who have led several planning sessions, envision a fair association taking over the helm of the county fair.

The planning group meeting Monday exhibited enthusiasm for such a plan.

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