Prep work readies grounds for Farmington Fair

0
7957
Members of Farmington Elks Lodge #2430 and Farmington Emblem Club #460 clean the Farmington Elk Food Booth on the Farmington Fairgrounds Wednesday. Pictured from left, Kip Clark, chairman of the Elks fair committee, Roberta Ranger, Donna Clark, Claris Ranger, exalted ruler, Aaron Allumbaugh and Terry Mosher.

By Ann Bryant, Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — The 177th annual Farmington Fair lasts but a week. The prep work, prior to the week, can take months.

The annual exhibition takes place from Sunday, Sept. 17, through Saturday, Sept. 23, with all the usual animal shows, rides with Smokey’s Greater Shows, displays, horse racing, pulling and more.

With just a few concession stands parked on the grounds ten days before opening, a crew continues working to spruce up fairground buildings and convert a former oil truck in to a new water truck for the race track, said Tom White, trustee and superintendent of buildings and grounds for the Franklin County Agricultural Society.

White’s crew has worked over the summer to paint several buildings using about 50 gallons of paint, work on the poultry barn, grandstand, refurbish the pulling ring and replace walkways including new handicap ramps for several sites around the fairgrounds, he said.

The new diesel truck occupies their attention this week. A former oil truck, the pump and reel were taken off and switches added up front for control by the driver.

A new engine goes on the side with a sprayer on the back and another on the front to help keep dust down along the track.

Members of Farmington Elks Lodge #2430 and Farmington Emblem Club #460 clean the Farmington Elk Food Booth on the Farmington Fairgrounds Wednesday. Pictured from left, Kip Clark, chairman of the Elks fair committee, Roberta Ranger, Donna Clark, Claris Ranger, exalted ruler, Aaron Allumbaugh and Terry Mosher.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

“We wet them, you bet them,” White said about the daily horse races.

Some new vendors are signed up for this year, he said. Smokey’s Greater Shows have refurbished many of their rides and added some new ones, he said.

The New Sharon Library has moved on to the fairgrounds but will not be open and ready for this year.

New lighting on the infield of the race track has been added for safety concerns. White organizes the Monday night Drag Your Neighbor event where drivers can safely drag race. The event just about doubles in size every year, White said.

All the buildings are full. There are no open spaces, he said.

A dozen or more members of Farmington Elks Lodge #2430 and Farmington Emblem Club #460 gathered to clean their traditional fair booth as heavy rains fell outside Wednesday.

This is only part of the work undertaken before the Farmington Elks Food Booth opens again this year, Kip Clark, chairman of the fair committee for the Elks, said.

Known for their hot turkey sandwiches, club members have already cooked 750 pounds of turkey, an 18-hour chore, he said.

Christine Greenleaf, a member of Farmington Emblem Club #460, sweeps down the walls of the Farmington Elk Food Booth Wednesday at the Fairgrounds in preparation for Farmington Fair.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

But, for the two weeks prior to the fair, there is cleaning of the booth to do, checks on refrigerators, stoves, grills and the fryolator along with food and Coke products to bring in and store.

“We are here for about a month,” Clark said of prep work before and clean up work after the fair.

The Elks have manned the kitchen, about 12 members a day, for a number of years while the Emblem Club takes care of the dining room, providing about 84 waitresses throughout the week.

“We are all volunteers. We are not professionals,” Clark said.

But, they offer a full menu with fresh fish dishes, different types of baskets with fries, homemade baked beans and about 300 pies are prepared for the week, he said.

“Just about everything is homemade,” Clark said.

Most customers come back because they know what we offer. The club has done it for so long, they know and they know it is one of the best buys on the fairgrounds, he said as he showed a menu listing moderate prices for full meals.

The booth is open every day from 10:30 to closing to offer lunch and dinners.

Proceeds benefit Elk programs such as Little League, the Elks National Foundation which provides scholarships, the annual Elk’s Hoop Shoot and for other community needs.

“It all goes back in to the community,” Roberta Ranger said, as she scrubbed away.

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

Tom White, trustee and superintendent of buildings and grounds for the Franklin County Agricultural Society, and his crew are preparing this former oil truck to serve as water truck for the race track at Farmington Fair.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

Members of Farmington Elk Lodge #2430 work on refrigeration at the Farmington Elk Food Booth on the fairgrounds. Pictured from left, Claris Ranger, lodge exalted ruler, Aaron Allumbaugh and Terry Mosher. 

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

Everything gets a cleaning, even the sink, Wednesday as Farmington Elk Lodge and Farmington Emblem Club members clean the food booth at Farmington Fair. Robin Bragg was one of about a dozen members helping.

(Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here