It’s Fair Time

FONDA – Young Garret Nare of Fort Plain held on to the steer in a chute, waiting for the signal to start.

Suddenly, the door opened, and Garret, grabbing the steer by the horns, wrestled with it in an effort to pin the steer to the ground. He completed the task to the sound of cheers in the arena on the opening day of the 173rd annual Fonda Fair.

Nare’s chute-dogging event was one of several during the rodeo, which fairgoers had an opportunity to enjoy Tuesday.

Crowds turned out on the sunny day to go on rides, play games, look at agricultural, animal and other exhibits, and eat a variety of fair food.

At the rodeo, contestants paraded around the fair arena for family, friends and other spectators. Contestants as young as 12 participated in chute dogging, bareback riding, bull riding, pole bending and other events throughout the afternoon.

Scott Bevins, a competitor in the bareback ride, was jostled around during the competition, but he was able to ride until the buzzer sounded.

Kelly Okosky, treasurer for the fair, said vendors were nervous before the fair started because the village had issued a boil-water order as a result of flooding late last week. However, the village lifted the boil-water order Tuesday.

“We were a little shaky [Monday]; we were waiting on one additional [water] test,” Okosky said.

The heavy rain last week caused minor flooding on the fairgrounds, but crews were able to clean it up before the fair began.

“Everybody is good to go,” Okosky said.

During the fair Tuesday, Doreen Shariff brought her family and Italian exchange student Andrea Martini.

Shariff said the family used to show animals at the fair.

“We come every year to support the community, and it’s fun as well,” Shariff said.

Martini, a native of Milan, Italy, said he had never been to a fair like Fonda’s.

“It is amazing. It is so fun,” Martini said.

Bonnie Hudson of Canajoharie brought her daughter-in-law and grandchildren to the fair.

“The fair has changed a lot over the years,” Hudson said.

The fair continues through Monday.

Events today include a bicycle drawing at 6 p.m. and a tractor and truck pull at 7 p.m.

Among the events Thursday will be a barrel meet and a four-wheel-drive outlaw diesel truck pull.