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Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair deemed a success

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GOUVERNEUR — Sunday marked the end of the weeklong festivities at the Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair, as an open horse show in the morning, a demolition derby in the afternoon and rides, vendor shopping and carnival games brought the final day to a close.

“We’ve had a very good fair,” said Donald A. Peck, fair manager. “The vendors I talked to seemed to be very happy.”

This year was record-breaking for the fair, in that the rides brought in more money than ever.

“Our carnival and our rides are way up from previous years,” Mr. Peck said. “Right now, we’re at pace to break all records as far as ride gross for the carnival.”

Mr. Peck said the Coleman Brothers company has been putting on the carnival portion of the fair for six years and has been enhancing the fair by adding about two rides each year.

Mr. Peck also said that more lifetime memberships for the fair were sold this year than in the past three years. For $150, Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair members enjoy free parking and all grandstand shows for the rest of their lives.

Mr. Peck said that for the first time this year, fair officials passed out questionnaires.

“We’ve been doing them all week long to try to find out where people are coming from and how they heard about the fair,” he said.

“We’re starting to get a lot of people from the northern end of St. Lawrence County, and we’re getting a lot of people from the northern end of Jefferson County.”

Some of the vendors who have been participating in the fair for years said it was the best one they’ve experienced.

Dan G. Wilson, Chittenango, runs the petting zoo called The Wild Animal Park. He said that although he participates in several different county fairs, St. Lawrence is a favorite.

“We love this fair,” he said. “It’s the best one we do.”

This year, weather did cause some problems for vendors, but many said the rain didn’t necessarily scare away business.

Alfred H. Copeland, Lake George, was running a booth for his company, Entertainment One, selling T-shirts, hoodies and poster signs.

“Business-wise, it was good and I made some good money,” he said. “I literally had six inches of water under this tent when it was pouring rain on Thursday.”

It was Mr. Copeland’s second year participating in the fair.

He said that although the weather this year was not great, he’s planning to return next year.

Mr. Peck said that because the rain was so heavy some days, the water couldn’t drain fast enough.

“The rain on Thursday didn’t help us any, and the rain Saturday night really hurt us,” he said. “That was the most water I’ve seen so far in here ever, but it rained so hard for so long that the drains just couldn’t take it.”

April L. Lewis is an Avon representative in the Gouverneur area who has had a booth set up at the fair for the past three years. She sells jewelry, body wash, men’s cologne, sunscreen and many other Avon products. She said that although this year’s weather has been the worst, her business wasn’t affected by it.

“We got soaked a couple times this year, and the tents we’ve had to tie down because the wind’s tried to take them away on us,” Ms. Lewis said. “But I do well every year. The best nights are when they have something going on at the grandstand.”

Mr. Peck said that despite the bad weather, he didn’t receive any complaints from vendors.

“It’s just nice to see people stop in and thank you for the rides and the cleanliness of the carnival and the cleanliness of the grounds,” Mr. Peck said. “Overall, we’re very, very happy.”

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