Fair off to rainy start

It rained nearly all day at the Essex County Fair Wednesday, but the event will continue throughout the rest of the week.

The theme for the fair this year is maple season, with maple syrup, maple candy and maple ice cream being sold. The event, held at the fairgrounds in Westport, will run through Sunday.

“It wasn’t a good thing at all,” Harold Reynolds, an office worker at the fairgrounds, said of the rain. “They were suppose to have horse races today, but they canceled them. We need more people here; the attendance was terrible today, but I understand people don’t like to come out in the rain.”

The fair’s opening ceremonies were held at 6 p.m. Wednesday as the rain continued to pour down. Keeghan Nolan, a country music singer, also performed last night. People stilled showed up to hear her sing.

Something very new will be at the fair this year – beer. It’s the first time in many years that alcohol is permitted to be sold.

Bertha Rand, secretary of the Essex County Agricultural Society, said the beer tent is staffed by local breweries.

There are about nine breweries attending the fair; some of them include the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery of Lake Placid, Blue Line Brewery of Saranac Lake and Paradox Brewery of Schroon Lake.

Rand said the agricultural society has been debating whether to allow alcohol at the fair for three years. They proposed the idea last year to the Essex County Board of Supervisors, but they rejected the notion. This year, they were convinced.

“There’s pros and cons and we’re trying to make it a positive experience for everybody,” she said.

Admission is $10 per ticket and the entry fee includes all rides. The demolition derby costs an extra $5 and the figure eight racing costs $3 per ticket.