Saratoga County

Last call for fun at county fair

There’s still time to get to the Saratoga County Fair today before it closes for another year.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

There’s still time to get to the Saratoga County Fair today before it closes for another year.

The region’s first fair is open from 9 a.m. to midnight today at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.

As usual, the animals are a draw.

Three-year-old Caroline Stump eagerly ticked off the animals she’d seen before noon on Saturday. There were the goats she got to feed at the petting zoo, the rabbits she stroked through their cages, the racing pigs and the horse named Hannah. “And a little black goat with horns,” she added.

The youngster’s Clifton Park family got a jump start on the day so they could check out the attractions before temperatures became hot, said Caroline’s mother, Linda Stump, as they sat lunching under an umbrella.

“We’re going to go on a couple rides and head home to the air conditioning,” she said.

Besides the heat and humidity this weekend, fair organizers and the public had to deal with isolated thunderstorms, one of which injured two people Friday night when they were struck by lightning half an hour before the fair closed at midnight.

The lightning also knocked out the fair’s phone and public address systems, Rowland said. Both systems were up and running again by Saturday afternoon.

“You plan for these things. You hope they don’t happen,” he said.

April, a 3-month-old Holstein calf, was one of the creatures children were eager to touch during the week.

“We’ve had people come in the morning and come back in the afternoon and say, ‘We have to say goodbye to April now,’ ” said Jean Pokrzywka, whose daughter, Molly, owns the calf.

Molly Pokrzywka, 14, of Charlton, showed April at the fair and in years past showed April’s dam, the teen’s mother said.

The pretty little calf didn’t make a great showing in her class with the other Holsteins, Jean Pokrzywka said: “Judges like to see big cows with udders.”

But April’s stall was nevertheless a popular spot to visit.

“The baby’s what the public likes to see,” Pokrzywka said.

And April and Molly got a ribbon for a costume contest in which the two switched roles — April was dressed up as a farmer and Molly as a cow.

Molly’s brother, John Pokrzywka, entertained people all week at the living history cabin, where he helped cook food in a Dutch oven for fairgoers to sample.

“We’re making a lot of meat and a lot of desserts,” the 15-year-old said. He is a member of Inner Circle, the 4-H shooting sports group.

He also fills in at the fair for Dan the Mountain Man, who presents a collection of furs for children to touch and makes tops and Indian necklaces for them to take home.

“The kids like that pretty well,” Pokrzywka said.

The Pokrzywkas were beating the heat in the cow barn, where large fans made it cooler than the other buildings.

Fairgoers were planning to beat the heat Saturday afternoon with the giant sundae made and served by the fair’s dairy royalty.

“We fill a kiddie pool full of ice cream and toppings,” said Laura Hanehan, 17, first alternate dairy princess. “It gets all over us. It’s fun, though. It’s worth it.”

Hanehan, of Saratoga, shows her own cows at the fair and has been coming for years.

“It’s like the best thing you look forward to all year,” she said.

Her younger sister, Janet Hanehan, 10, was looking forward to the rides Saturday afternoon, especially one in particular.

“It spins around. Then it goes straight up,” the Saratoga girl explained.

Adam King, 6, of Schuylerville, likes the Mousetrap ride, which he admitted is a little bit scary, but also funny.

“There’s a duck puking in a bucket,” he noted.

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