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Smaller Youth Fair focuses on youth projects and exhibits

Performing in talent Show Saturday at the Warren County Youth Fair, Bryce Vaisey of Warrensburg sings “Do, Re, Me” for the audience.

Performing in talent Show Saturday at the Warren County Youth Fair, Bryce Vaisey of Warrensburg sings “Do, Re, Me” for the audience.

—  Despite a drastic downsizing this year, the Warren County Youth Fair offered a lot for those who participated, event sponsors said Monday.

The fair once was a two-day annual event featuring a carnival, a midway, animal and garden produce exhibits, top regional music acts, and amusement rides as well as a pony-pull event, a woodsmen’s competition and horse show.

But due to budget cutbacks, changing public expectations and skyrocketing liability expenses, the modest country fair was reduced in recent years to an event primarily to accommodate 4-H members.

John Bowe of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County said that the Youth Fair held Saturday fulfilled expectations and was enjoyable for the 120 people or so that attended.

“Despite the downsizing, it was still fun and educational — and within the Cornell mission mandates to enhance education for youth,” he said. “The youth fair is key to the 4-H program, because the children have their projects and talents evaluated by an unbiased adult reviewer.”

More than 200 projects and exhibits prepared by youth were entered in the fair. The event also included a talent show, games for children and a 4-H horse show.

Bowe said a garden bench restored by Lane Saville of Warrensburg exemplified the high quality of the exhibits.

Lane’s work was selected to be entered into the New York State Fair. Not only was the woodwork and refinishing well done, but his restoration work was documented in a story board that tracked the project, from the bench’s original rotten stages to its totally finished condition.

Heather Hamell of Cooperative Extension said the talent show, with its varied entries, was a lot of fun to watch.

“The kids were really brave to get up there and sing in front of people,” she said. “And they really enjoyed themselves.”

New this year was a reading room, where children could relax and share stories, then take a book of their choice home with them.

In the horse show, winners of various classes included Stephanie Carte, Patrick Shannon, Megan Wildermuth, Gabrielle Grasmeder, Rose Shannon, Meghan Willis and Lindsey Lankford — all of Queensbury.

The winner of the pie eating contest was Blake Vaisey of Warrensburg. Winners of the bubble gum blowing contest were: Owen Buzzell of Brant Lake — biggest bubble, and Annie Westcott of Queensbury — loudest pop.

As of Tuesday, results of the talent show weren’t available.

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