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Warren County Youth Fair to expand, include rural heritage festival

Irv West of Thurman (left) answers questions about local 4-H programs asked by children attending the 2010 Warren County Youth Fair. Plans are now underway to expand the event substantially and rename it the Warren County Rural Heritage Festival and Youth Fair — through a joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Warren County Historical Society.

Irv West of Thurman (left) answers questions about local 4-H programs asked by children attending the 2010 Warren County Youth Fair. Plans are now underway to expand the event substantially and rename it the Warren County Rural Heritage Festival and Youth Fair — through a joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Warren County Historical Society.

— The Warren County Youth Fair, for years diminished in attendance and scope, is likely to reclaim some of its former glory by this summer.

Under a new partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and the Warren County Historical Society, plans are now moving ahead for a far larger festival than in recent history.

In line with the planned expansion, the event — set for Saturday Aug. 11 — is to be re-titled as the Warren County Rural Heritage Festival & Youth Fair.

The expanded fair is to not only include the annual youth fair talent show, horse show and youth produce and craft competitions, but a variety of exhibits, demonstrations and vendors relating to the traditions of work and play in Warren County’s bygone years.

Already lined up for the Heritage & Youth Fair are exhibits by the Washington Co. Fairground Museum, the Chapman Museum of Glens Falls, and demonstrations by the Merry Mohicans Squaredance Club and the Allies of Ongonquit.

While the Fairground Museum will be welcoming people to operate old corn-grinding apparatus and butter churns, the Chapman will be demonstrating Victorian games and toys.

This first-time-ever partnership between Cooperative Extension and another organization to sponsor the event could double attendance and lead toward long-term revitalization of the county fair, Extension agent John Bowe said April 23.

“With many new exhibitors and vendors and the added theme of local history, we’ll be offering an experience that’s fun and educational, while continuing to be very affordable,” he said.

Plans also are underway for the fair to offer tethered horse rides, and living-history demonstrations of early Native American culture by the Allies 0f Ongonquit re-enactors.

Also booked for the fair are the North Country Toastmasters Club with its members offering tall tales, and square dancing demonstrations and instruction — with all welcome to participate — by the Merry Mohicans club.

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