Rodeos, rides kick off fair

FONDA – The smell of fairground food and the sounds of cheers on the midway returned to the village as the 172nd Fonda Fair opened Tuesday.

In addition to food, rides and games, the day’s events included a professional rodeo, a high school rodeo, agricultural and animal judging competitions and 4-H activities.

The fair will continue through Labor Day.

“We got a lot of things going on,” fair board President Rich Kennedy said Tuesday.

Kennedy said that after the 2011 fair, when flooding from Hurricane Irene left the fair grounds flooded, the 2012 fair attracted roughly 70,000 guests.

Kennedy said he hopes this year will be even better.

“Tuesday is typically one of the slower days,” Kennedy said of the opening day.

Kennedy said one of the upcoming events he is excited to see is the Fireman’s Field Day Competition scheduled for Monday.

“We are hoping for a great turnout for that,” Kennedy said.

Rodeos and demolition derbies were the main events Tuesday, drawing many to the arena at the fairgrounds.

People attended the New York State High School Rodeo in the afternoon.

Matt Dyer, president of the New York High School Rodeo Association, said this was the fourth year the rodeo has been at the fair.

This year, 63 contestants from junior and senior high schools across the state were involved in events such as barrel racing, goat tying, team roping and bull riding.

“There are a lot of events,” Dyer said. “I think we will have a [big] turnout.”

Kelsey Dyer, Matt’s daughter and a contestant in the competition, said this was one of the biggest meets they have had.

“We have a bunch of new members,” Kelsey Dyer said.

Kristina Boyce, the New York High School Rodeo queen, said she was excited for the new year of competitions.

Lizbeth Kiuber of Fultonville brought her grandson Caden to the fair, and said she enjoyed the rodeo.

“It is nice, it’s very entertaining,” Kiuber said. “It’s nice to see the youth taking [part] in these kinds of things.”

Kiuber said she was happy to see the fair recover after the 2011 flood.

“It is like a landmark to us,” Kiuber said.

Hannah Cronk of Amsterdam said she was excited to see the rodeo event. She said she participated in the rodeo as a child.

“It’s a good little event,” Cronk said. “It’s close to home.”

The fair continues today. A?tractor and truck pull is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Some of the events at the fair Thursday will include a baby contest at 11 a.m., a barrel meet at 6 p.m. and a diesel truck pull at 7 p.m.