Tunbridge World’s Fair President Alan Howe, right, cheers on a competitor in the kids’ pedal tractor pull in 2014. Howe looks forward to a sunny forecast for this weekend’s Fair. (Herald / Tim Calabro)

Fair President: We’re Ready for 30,000 Visitors


Submitted a year ago
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SANDY VONDRASEK

With a favorable forecast for the week and all systems go, Tunbridge Fair President Alan Howe said Tuesday that he is hopeful that the Tunbridge World’s Fair will draw 30,000 visitors this year.

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As usual, the four-day fair will hit the ground running Thursday, with Agricultural Education Day, which will bring 2000-2500 young people from area schools and home schools, for a day activities. On arrival, kids leave their lunches at the grandstand, where they later return to eat—and to enjoy a free carton of milk donated by Booth Brothers and Hood dairies.

Lights! Curtains!

There are no major changes to the fairgrounds this year— but a lot of attention has been lavished on polishing up the fair’s infrastructure, Howe said. This includes lighting, with the streetlamps on the fairgrounds upgraded to LED lights and new exit signs inside buildings.

Several years ago, the Fair made the move to increase lighting in the parking lots, which are now illuminated by rented “tower lights,” Howe noted. This has made it easier for folks to make their way back to their vehicles at the end of the day, and enhances safety, he added.

Another upgrade has been the acquisition of real theater curtains for the main stage in the grandstand. Stage Manager Wayne Ladd procured the curtains, which were donated by the Lebanon Opera House. Though they enhance the look of the stage, they were installed primarily to enhance acoustics, Howe said.

New Gift Shop

New this year is a gift shop, featuring Tunbridge World’s Fair memorabilia, located in the south oval near the track. This is in addition to the shop inside Floral Hall, Howe said, which will continue to operate,

Items sold in both sites include T-shirts, caps, pins, a collection of wooden postcards, and the 2017 collectible poster celebrating Rare Breeds. Special this year are Tunbridge Fair playing cards and 345-piece jigsaw puzzle, both of which feature the 2017 poster.

This project has been captained by Pat Ladd, Howe said.

There was a need to do one major repair: heavy rains on July 3 badly damaged the steel footbridge that connects the north end of the fairgrounds with the adjacent parking area.

Howe said the six-foot-wide bridge was taken to the firm that made it, and was set back in place, good as new, in time for the Fair.

Repair costs were considerable, however, and the folks who run the Jenny Brook Bluegrass festival at the fairgrounds every year, are planning to put on a benefit concert, with a great line-up, on October 8, to raise funds for the repair.

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