EAST AMWELL, NJ – The Hunterdon County 4-H & Agricultural Fair is underway. The food fun and excitement continues until 10 p.m. today.
The Fair is also open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday. The hours on Sunday are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some elements of the Fair are based on tradition. Fair food, carnival rides and the 4-H animal competitions are staples of the event which traces its roots to the Flemington Fair, which dates back to the 1800s. That was held at the old fairgrounds on Route 31 in Raritan Township, where Lowe’s and Walmart are now located.
However, the Fair, which has been held at the South County Park on Route 179 just outside of Ringoes for 14 years, has a few new things to offer this year.
One is the name of the park. It’s been renamed the Roger K. Everitt Memorial Fairgrounds to recognize the man who was a leader of a group of farmers and 4-H alumni who came together in 1999 to assure that the Fair would continue after the former location was redeveloped. He died this year.
Two other traditions have returned this year. One are the pigs; they have not been present at the fair in anyone’s recent memory with the exception of the racing pigs, of course, which are a Fair tradition.
The other returning tradition is virtually invisible. Some of the paths along the fairgrounds have been sprayed with a soybean-based product called Dustkill, a biodegradable oil that suppresses dust, according to Terry Wright, a Fair publicist and organizer. It’s an old idea that’s gained popularity as many people have become more environmentally conscious, and seek to limit the use of petroleum-based products previously used for the purpose.
The Fair schedule for later today includes Unity Bank’s Blizzard of Dollars at 7:30 p.m. and a fireworks show at 9:15.