Arts & Entertainment

Hunterdon 4-H Fair's Home Gets New Name

401a820e54b3db2950af_P8014207.JPG
The public packed yesterday's Freeholder meeting as they prepared to rename the South County Park. Credits: Curtis Leeds
1e9a0f962faee1548db2_P8014235.JPG
Roger Everitt's wife Alice and daughter Kathy Kovacs choked back tears about his love for the fair. Credits: Curtis Leeds
401a820e54b3db2950af_P8014207.JPG

FLEMINGTON, NJ – The Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair will open Aug. 23.

The fair is the successor to the Flemington Fair, and this year will be its 18th staging. For 13 years it's been held at the county park on Route 179, which was once the site of the Ringoes Drive-In movie theater.

But this year will be a little different, because it won’t be happening at the South County Park. That’s because Hunterdon’s Freeholders voted yesterday to rename the park, which will now be known as Roger K. Everitt Memorial Fairgrounds.

Sign Up for E-News

Roger Everitt was “the heart and soul, the foundation of this county’s successful 4-H Fair,” said Freeholder Director John Lanza. “He’ s every bit one of the iconic figures of Hunterdon County When you think of the fair, you think of the name Roger Everitt.”

Everitt died in March at the age of 86.

Everitt was the leader of a group of farmers and 4-H alumni who came together in 1999 in hopes of starting a fair. That was shortly after the privately-owned Flemington Fair decided to stop holding its event where Lowe’s and Walmart are now on Route 31 in Raritan Township.

When that happened, Everitt and several other members of the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture formed a committee to continue the local exhibition of 4-H and agricultural displays. It chose Everitt president, a position he was elected to annually and held until his death.

The new Hunterdon group held its first fairs on the Flemington Fairgrounds while a new location was sought. Playing key roles with Everitt early on were George Conard and Ken Totten. They approached the county Freeholders and got their financial support.

The Freeholders yesterday were unanimous in their support of the change, with Freeholder Matt holt noting it had the “full support of a former 4H-er.”

Freeholder Rob Walton recalled that every time he went to the fair there were “a thousand things going on.” But no matter the excitement, “You walk up to Roger, he always had a smile on his face,” Walton said. “No matter how much chaos there seemed to be, he had time for you, had a smile, he shook your hand and gave you an earful about what was  going on at the fair and how wonderful it would be. It made the day brighter. He’s sorely missed.”

Many members of Everitt’s family attended yesterday’s Freeholder meeting, prompting Lanza to proclaim it the most-attended Freeholder meeting he could recall.

“My dad knew that to make your dream happen, it requires planning, hard work and asking friends and leaders for help and guidance on how to make it happen,” his daughter, Kathy Kovacs said. “And it happened ... it was always my dad’s thrill to see family and friends come together and enjoy a good old-fashioned day at the fair.

“If you think he is not here today, you are sadly mistaken,” she added, “because if it had to do with the fair, he was there. Always."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct when the fair first was held at the South County Park.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

A Man of 'Deep Pockets, Sterling Character'

June 19, 2018

To the editor:

At a meeting of Flemington Borough Council earlier this year, Mayor Phil Greiner described Jack Cust as a man of “deep pockets and sterling character.” He seemed to be attempting to justify his basis for selecting a new redeveloper, after the first two selected by a committee he was part of, or led, failed at the project. Initially the project was to find someone to ...

End 'Gun Free Zones,' Harden Soft Targets

To the editor:

In response to the Governor's recent signing of legislation restricting law-abiding gun owners to 10 rounds of ammunition and rejecting calls to address the uneven playing field existing vis-à-vis some single mom alone with her child fending for herself against some armed assailant packing who knows how many rounds is something a Politburo thug would appreciate! The ...

Voter Turnout in Raritan Township

To the editor,

We want to share our admiration for all of the Raritan Township residents who came out to vote in the June 5 Primary Election. Additionally, we want to say "thank you" to our Democratic supporters for their votes.

As we look to the General Election on Nov. 6, we reflect on the importance of this election for our children, seniors and all those in between as we ...

Alzheimer's is Public Health Crisis

To the editor:

 

With more than 5 million Americans now living with Alzheimer’s and with more than 15 million acting as caregivers, Alzheimer’s has become the nation’s most expensive disease. This year alone, it will cost $277 billion to take care of those stricken. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that, by 2050, more than 14 million Americans will be ...

Candidates 'Weaponized' News Article

To the editor:

I was dismayed to see my 2014 news reportage inaccurately weaponized by council members Marc Hain and Brooke Warden in their campaign flier attacking Al Brewer. The headline “School security at issue: Flemington-Raritan board member accused of leaking secrets” is less than a half-truth, given the ensuing revelation.

Marc and Brook ignored my follow-up report in ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

Tue, June 26, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

A Man of 'Deep Pockets, Sterling Character'

June 19, 2018

To the editor:

At a meeting of Flemington Borough Council earlier this year, Mayor Phil Greiner described Jack Cust as a man of “deep pockets and sterling character.” He seemed to be attempting to justify his basis for selecting a new redeveloper, after the first two selected by a committee he was part of, or led, failed at the project. Initially the project was to find someone to ...

Driver, Runion, Giles-McCormick, Kick-Off Campaign

June 19, 2018

FLEMINGTON, NJ — Borough Mayor candidate Betsy Driver and Borough Council candidates Chris Runion and Caitlin Giles-McCormick have joined their campaigns in advance of the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

Since winning her campaign to become a Borough Councilperson, Betsy Driver has already passed resolutions to get Council meetings streamed live and videotaped for later viewing; a tuition credit ...