Something for everyone at Fonda Fair

Nathaniel and Beatrix Worthington of New York City pet a calf Saturday at the Fonda Fair. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

FONDA — There seemed to be something for everyone at Saturday’s sunny Fonda Fair—rides, games, foods, 4-H exhibits, races, demolition derby, dancing and farm animals.

“When you go up, you feel like your stomach was still at the bottom” is the way Alison Tavern of New York City describes jumping with bungie cords.

Logan Rodabaugh of Long Beach didn’t win with a quarter bet at the Crazy Ball games but got to throw the ball into the numbered areas. She kept missing, so her grandmother, Norma Coffenberg of Delanson, had to fill in. “I like the fair because I get to take the grandkids,” Coffenberg said.

Renee Shutts of Johnstown and April Hebert of Amsterdam enjoyed free ice cream sundae courtesy of the fair queens while “watching the kids enjoy themselves on the rides.”

James Decker of Cobleskill also said he comes every year because “the kids like it.”

A huge crowd was at the demolition derby early in the afternoon as cars smashed and crashed and mangled one another, sending up dust and smoke and sometimes splattering the onlookers with mud.

New York City resident Zef Gjuraj helped his daughter, Adrainna, aim to shoot for prizes. Her mother, Roseanna, said she liked “the country, more homey” atmosphere of the fair compared to be busy metropolitan atmosphere she’s used to.

Emma Flanagan and Karl and Jo-ann Andersen, frequent fairgoers, said they were impressed by the clean animals and friendly vendors and staff at the Fonda Fair compared to other area fairs they went to.

Karl said he liked how children were kept safely on ponies and “had a hoot” riding them.

It would be hard to choose among so many food vendors, and a whole row of the fairground was devoted to people selling jewelry, clothing and other wares.

Drawing almost as big a crowd as the demolition derby were the pig races in which youngsters were designated by a fast-talking emcee to root for particular pigs. Each race didn’t last long since the stubby legged animals managed to finish the course in less than a minute—even without a wolf chasing them.

The most relaxed group at the fair seemed to be the cows, who just lolled around munching on hay. Nathaniel and Beatrix Worthington of Bronx enjoyed petting the calves. “They’re really soft and fluffy and cute,” said Beatrix.

“I wanted to see and touch them, not just pass them by on a farm.”

Dylan Smith, who was helping tend the cows from Canary Dairy Farms, Ephratah, said the kids think the cows tongues are salty but they’re actually rough because the cows have only bottom teeth and need rough tongues to chew their food.

By Patricia Older

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