CAIRO — The 63rd Greene County Youth Fair opened at Angelo Canna Town Park in Cairo on Thursday with food, rides, farm animals and a host of new attractions.
The fair was launched with an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. with speeches by Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-102; state Sen. George Amedore Jr., R-46; Greene County Legislature Chairman Kevin Lewis, R-Greenville; Cornell Cooperative Extension for Columbia and Greene Counties Executive Director Chuck Brooks; and Columbia-Greene Community College Vice President and Dean of Students and Enrollment Management Joseph Watson.
Several youth speakers also took turns at the microphone to talk about the fair and its impact on the county.
The Greene County Youth Fair features animal shows, vendors, rides, food and various other forms of entertainment.
“It’s very good so far,” said Alex Johnk, president of the Greene County Agricultural Society. “It’s a nice mix of new and old entertainment.”
Johnk has been with the society for three years and since becoming president has been involved with all aspects of the fair.
“We’re looking forward to having people come out and support us,” he said.
Trevor the Stilt Walker is giving multiple performances throughout Thursday and Friday where he uses stilts and other various props to entertain the crowd.
“Oh, it’s a blast,” he said about why he likes towering over everyone on stilts. “I’ll never get tired of it — the day I get tired of it, is the day I stop doing it.”
Trevor started walking on stilts when he was 16, he said. He is 61 and continues to get a kick out of standing tall and seeing the smiles on children’s faces.
“My sister took a new games class and told me about it,” Trevor said. “I took a class and I loved it ever since.”
Trevor does more than 200 shows a year, all around the Northeast, he said.
This is Lily Hepperly’s seventh year showing animals at the fair. This year she showed two rabbits, one goat, one duck and one chicken.
“I work with my animals a lot,” she said. “So it’s good payoff by getting an award.”
The 16-year-old from Cairo is the winner of three trophies over the last few years.
“My grandfather got me into it,” said Audrey Duncan, 15, of Greenville. “He passed away two years ago — so I’m doing it for him now.”
Duncan started raising prize animals about five years ago and won a trophy last year. She showed three rabbits, one cow and four chickens this year.
The Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District displayed an educational model stream table.
“It simulates flow patterns, erosion, deposition,” said Samantha Root, education and outreach coordinator. “Students do things like building roads and dams, testing flood plains and currents.”
“It teaches kids that streams are dynamic — they’re always changing. Even if no one touches the display, it will change on its own,” Root said.
The fair is free to attend, so the society relies on donations to keep things up and running, Johnk said. Many people donate to the society each year for the fair.
The Greene County Youth Fair runs through Sunday with the closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m.
To reach reporter Anthony Fiducia, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.