Attendance up at Fonda Fair, organizers say

FONDA – Despite Sunday’s rain-drenched Fonda Fair, organizers say the annual seven-day funfest may end up being one for the record books.

“The fair’s been very, very well-attended this year,” fair Director Butch Hazzard said Sunday. “Attendance is up.”

Hazzard made his comments after seeking some shelter when rain became more steady during the early afternoon. Rain on Sunday delayed the start of the 2014 Convoy for a Cause Big Rig truck pull. The Track of Champions was a muddy mess, but the truck pull was due to go on at night instead of the day, as was originally scheduled.

A scant group of fairgoers periodically trickled across the midway Sunday, daring to try their hand at chance games and jumping over puddles just to get there.

But despite some rain Sunday, the fair concludes today with many Labor Day attractions and at least on top in gate sales.

“We’ve had an excellent year,” said Richard Kennedy, fair president.

Kennedy didn’t want to be pinned down on too many figures or reasons yet. But he said it appears Saturday’s fair day – with typical summertime weather – may have contributed to “almost a record” day.

By the time the 173rd edition of the Fonda Fair concludes today, Kennedy anticipates attendance may be in the range of 60,000 to 70,000 fairgoers. He said the fair had more than 50,000 people last year.

“We did bring some new things,” Kennedy said, including some ticket package, such as $25 for admittance and rides.

The fair official said that in addition to good weather, people wanted to come out and see some good entertainment. He said the Skeeter Creek Band – a Capital District modern country favorite – on Saturday night was a “huge” attraction.

Also well-attended were other sections of the fairgrounds. Good attendance news was reported from the Cooperative Extension Building.

“It has been really busy,” reported extension Administrative Assistant Georgia Dutcher.

She said in addition to normal attractions such as the “Best of Show” exhibits, the 4H Fitness Olympics on Saturday garnered much attention for fairgoers. Dutcher said the extension will also conduct a separate “Discover 4-H Day” on Oct. 4 at the fairgrounds.

Sunday at the fair seemed to be more of an indoor day for strollers. Attendees on Sunday were also able to get out of the rain to see for the first time Mary Jane and Bob Marley – two new calves born Saturday at the fair. Political candidates pushed their agendas at inside booths, and the Twin City Twisters of Gloversville, leaped, tumbled and stretched.

Today’s final day of the fair will feature: an open draft horse show, Pride of American Agriculture Parade, the Second Annual Firemen’s Field Day Competition, a livestock and dairy awards ceremony, and a demolition derby.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at