Boonville-Oneida County Fair returns after COVID hiatus with rides, animals and food

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BOONVILLE — The 133rd Boonville-Oneida County Fair returned Tuesday after a one year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fair activities will run through Sunday, Aug. 1, and organizers say that as things get back in full swing the beloved old traditions will remain while health and safety precautions are added, such as hand sanitizing stations around the fairgrounds.

There will be horse pulling competitions on Wednesday, and tractor pulling on Thursday, with 4-H competitions held daily.

Among attractions at this year’s fair, there is a country music show scheduled for Saturday night of the Fair, featuring Jo Dee Messina and Mark Wills. The Demolition Derby returns this year to the grandstand on Sunday.

Tuesday morning, last minute touches were being put in place as the fairgrounds prepared to open.

As cows mooed, menus put in place at eateries and facilities were readied, it was almost as if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened.

Among spots getting ready to open — or reopen after the pandemic induced pause on the fair — Mary Louise Witt was getting the exhibit hall ready for the public to view craft and art projects completed by youth in the area.

“It’s back...It’s coming together,” Witt said with a smile, adding that she was happy that the community works could again be displayed. Witt, who has tended the exhibit hall for at least 40 years said that there is a benefit for young people to be able to show off their skills at the fair.

Elsewhere, in the cattle barn, Terri DiNitto of DiNitto Farms in Marcy agrees that young people being able to show or exhibit at the fair is a confidence builder.

Her family, which operates a dairy farm, brought four Brown Swiss cows to show this year.

Had the pandemic not paused their tradition, it would have been the 15th year this year they have shown. For her children, the opportunity resulted in hands-on lessons in cattle genetics and training.

“The kids learn through their 4-H projects,” DiNitto said.

Parking is free and admission price is $3 for people over 60, $6 for adults over 13 and free for children ages up to 12.

For more information on the Boonville-Oneida County Fair, visit: https://boonvillefair.com/

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