Montgomery County

After rainy start, sun shines on opening day of Fonda Fair (with photo gallery)

The Fonda Fair started a little slow Tuesday, as crowds were slight for the first few hours.

The Fonda Fair started a little slow Tuesday, as crowds were slight for the first few hours.

Many of the rides, usually a favorite attraction, were empty but for a few kids.

“It’s a little slower than usual,” said Maryellen Francisco, who has worked the gate at the fair for the last 15 years. “Parents don’t want to bring their kids out when they think it’s going to rain.”

But after a morning drizzle, the sun came out, and things picked up a bit. As of early afternoon, gate counters said a little over 1,000 people had come through.

“It’s the first day,” Francisco said. “Tomorrow we’ll be slammed.”

The arena was packed Tuesday for the New York State High School Rodeo.

Mike Anderson, a recent high school graduate who has ridden for years and plans on wrangling for the Double M Professional Rodeo in Ballston Spa next year, was just there to watch his 14-year-old friend Scotty Bevins — number 77.

“He’s only been riding for four weeks,” he said, “so I don’t know how he’ll do.”

Bevins, who attends Amsterdam High School, was signed up to ride broncos and bulls. When asked if he was nervous as he waited his turn, he said, “maybe a little,” before putting in his blue plastic mouthguard.

“I think I’m more scared than he is,” said his father, Scott Sr.

“I just hope he can run fast enough when he gets bucked off,” Anderson said.

Though Bevins peeled off the bronco after just a few seconds, he made it to the fence just fine.

Bevins wasn’t the only person testing his nerves Tuesday. Eric Sleezer of Gloversville tried out a new ride at the fair called Speed.

“That thing is wild,” he said while pointing to the great vertical arm of the ride. “I’ve already puked twice.”

He meant it as a compliment.

The Hansen family acrobatic team drew a respectable crowd with their blindfolded roller-skating tricks and aerial stunts. Performers dangled from the trapeze and bounced on an industrial-sized trampoline, while the bassy voiced announcer reminded viewers, “these tricks look like good fun, but they are very dangerous and should not be tried at home.”

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