NEW PALTZ, NY – The Ulster County Fairgrounds administration will always say there are concerns until the gates open and Tuesday was no exception when the power went out in a section of the fairgrounds until approximately 20 minutes before the scheduled start time.
As the fair opened, hundreds of waiting customers lined up to create new summer memories. And the line gets bigger over time.
New Paltz resident Joe Lingeman discovered that his 6-year-old daughter, at her first fair, had already decided on the rides she wanted to do. She then quickly changed them when the screams from the rides started.
“I think we came here for the Ferris wheel because that’s what we talked about,” he said.
“I don’t think the kids knew what was in store for them,” Lingeman said. “So I think they’re impressed with the experience.”
The fair features many of the same games, sugar-laden treats and agricultural exhibits as its predecessors, but in some cases the themes have been updated. A novelty tent returned with a selection of Donald Trump flags and banners that misrepresented the 2020 election as a Trump victory while promising a 2024 Trump return.
While the availability of electricity was in question, a visit to early 20th century farm equipment was a fitting stop, but the closest the Grand Hollow Old Time Power Association could get to a suitable replacement was a small working model of a battery-powered Le Jay. electric fence charger.
For the volunteers at the Climate Row booth, which included nine environmental groups, there was a certain irony in noting that the demands for electricity consumption would lead to sporadic blackouts in some parts of the country and not in others. This was made particularly poignant because they were unaware that the electricity had been cut in some areas of the fairgrounds but not theirs.
“We’re seeing it (on a larger scale) with flooding, more tornadoes, and a grid that’s not able to withstand these stronger storms,” said Melissa Iachetta, New Yorkers representative for Clean Power.
Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene, who was attending with the groups, noted that the fair is an opportunity to show visitors that they can play a part in energy resilience.
“We tried to empower municipalities to take leadership in a transition to a renewable energy economy,” Greene said.
The Ulster County Fair on Libertyville Road will continue until Sunday.