BRANCHBURG, NJ - The Somerset County 4-H Fair will be open for three days, Aug. 10, 11 and 12, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. each day at the Somerset County 4-H Fairgrounds at North Branch Park on Milltown Road.
"The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud and pleased to once again be a part of this annual celebration of our rich agricultural heritage," said Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh. "We invite residents to visit the Somerset County government tents, which will feature various interactive activities, games and information on important citizen programs and services.
"The 4-H Fair is a fun way to learn about programs and services that you may not need today but, when the time comes, you will know where to go for assistance,” she added. “Somerset County has many programs for our older population, information to educate residents with chronic diseases and programs for our youth.
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“Employees from close to 30 divisions and affiliated agencies are looking forward to meeting you to share information about the services they provide.”
Again this year there will be several large selfie stations within the county's Main Tent where visitors can make memories against backdrops of some favorite Somerset County attractions. Selfie opportunities will abound elsewhere throughout the fair as well.
Visitors are welcome to share their fun experiences at the 4-H Fair on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using hashtags #scnj4h and #NJ4HFairs2016
The Board of Freeholders and the Division of Solid Waste Management, through a solid waste management program grant, will sponsor Rizzo's Reptile Discovery Friday, Aug. 12, at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Prep Tent. An educator will blend nature, environment and conservation to teach how humans impact the environment. Visitors will see various animals and learn what they can do to save the earth.
In the Clover Theater, next to the Main Government Tent, the Somerset County Sheriff's Office will have a K-9 Demo Thursday, Aug. 11, at 11 a.m. and the Somerset County Department of Health will have a Fight the Bite! Olympics interactive demo at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12.
Again this year, there will be short, intermittent demos each day in the Main Government Tent from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check the schedule in the Main Government Tent for a daily schedule.
Demos include: Wednesday: Butter making, theater games and ukulele and a rhythm play along, Willie Wonka songs, fingerprinting, story time and sing-along, and basic electrical wiring. Thursday: Butter making, Willie Wonka songs and Amazing Adaptations-touchable items from nature. Friday: Butter making, theater games and improv for all ages, the Fatherhood Initiative, Alzheimer’s disease awareness and an opportunity to meet Miss Daisy the therapy dog.
Some demos are by students from the Somerset County Vocational and Technical Schools in Bridgewater, which are related to course offerings at the school. Teens can get the nitty-gritty on possible careers and talk with students after each presentation.
Also, the Somerset County Library System, the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center and 4-H Clubs will be doing presentations.
The Somerset County Sheriff's Office, Somerset County Library System and Raritan Valley Community College will share space in a tent adjacent to the county's Main Tent.
In the Sheriff's area demonstrations / activities are planned as follows:
Wednesday, Aug. 10: Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI)fingerprinting for children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Child safety-seat installation at 1 p.m. and Special Response Team (SRT) from 5 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 11: Sheriff's Sales information at 10 a.m.,Child safety-seat installation at 1 p.m., BCI fingerprinting for children from 3 to 9 p.m., SRT from 5 to 9 p.m. and Project Lifesaver Q&A from 5 to 9 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12: Child safety- seat installation at 10 a.m., BCIfingerprinting for children from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and SRT from 5 to 9 p.m.
The Library System will have “home away from home” activities throughout the day, which include coloring, creative writing, Lego building and more.
The Park Commission is celebrating its 60th Anniversary and Rutgers Cooperative Extension is celebrating its 250th Anniversary.
In the Main Government Tent, the Office of Emergency Management will have Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and County Animal Response Team (CART) trailers behind its tables for visitors to peruse.
Also, kids can enjoy games and activities at the Board of Freeholders, Planning Board, Cultural & Heritage Commission, Health Department, Youth Services, Bridge Division, Youth Council, Engineering and Rutgers Cooperative Education/Family & Community Health Sciences booths.
Activities include a train running through a make-believe town, Lego Challenge, beanbag toss, large wooden puzzles, photo-op stand, exercise wheel, brain-power game, planning game to create an ideal town and a Fatal Vision Goggles activity each day, which allows users to experience the visual impairment caused by drugs and alcohol.
At the Roads Division setup, to the right of the footbridge entrance, kids can operate a full-sized Gradall and excavator.
Several booths will have drawings for prizes that have been generously donated by local businesses and organizations. At the Freeholders / Public Information tables, prizes include tickets to a show at the Raritan Valley Community College Theatre; Somerset Patriots' home games; Leisure Pursuit passes to Somerset County Park Commission programs and a Fall Yoga class; and gift certificates for a dozen roses from Scott's Florist in Raritan.
Other prizes include composters from the Division of Solid Waste Management; a Serenity Basket of relaxation items from the Commission on Child Abuse and Missing Children in Somerville; a food basket and a $75 gift card to ShopRite from the employees of the Somerset County Board of Social Services; a basket of school supplies from the Friends of Somerset County Youth in Bridgewater; a back-to-school backpack from the employees of the Somerset County Community Development Office; a gift certificate to Central Pizzeria in Somerville; and copies of “Natural Beauty-Somerset County Parks” from the Somerset County Park Commission.
Many tables will have giveaways for visitors.
Free shuttle buses will run from Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) on Route 28 in North Branch. Visitors who wish to avoid traffic entering the fairgrounds can park at the college and take a shuttle bus. Signs will direct visitors to the proper parking area at the college.
Buses will run from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Buses will drop visitors by the footbridge at the entrance to the fairgrounds.
In case of heavy-rain conditions or a high volume of visitors at a particular time, which impacts parking at the fairgrounds, visitors and workers could be prohibited from parking at the fairgrounds for a period of time. If so, proceed to Raritan Valley Community College to take advantage of the free shuttle buses.
Please leave pets at home.
For more information about the Fair, call the Ted Blum 4-H Center at 908-526-6644 or visit somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/4hfair/. Directions for North Branch Park are available at http://b it.ly/DirectionsSC4H