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GC Fair organizers promise more to come this year after record 2022

By Joanne Beck
norm pimm
Norm Pimm presenting the annual fair report, and Legislator Gordon Dibble to his right.
Photo by Joanne Beck.

Record attendance of 70,000 people, the best year in recent history for vendors, the best midway year, and an increase in 4-H participants up from 35 two years ago to 165.

That upbeat news was in Norm Pimm’s 2022 annual fair report for Genesee County legislators; however, this year’s county fair is only expected to be bigger, better, and livelier than ever, the spokesman for Genesee County Agricultural Society said.

“People love our fairgrounds, they love our set-up,” Pimm said during this week’s Human Services meeting. “We have one of the top animal exhibits, at least one of the top three in New York State. That’s what the fair’s all about.”

The fair’s veterinarian went to check on the animals and “couldn’t believe how many we had,” Pimm said.

Ready for the numbers? There were:

  • 81 Dairy Cattle
  • 80 Goats
  • 48 Beef
  • 80 Swine
  • 65 Sheep
  • 204 Horses
  • 90 Rabbits
  • 155 Poultry
  • 18 Cavies

The Empire Classic Youth Sheep Show had 55 participants and 270 entries; the Genesee County Open Beef Show had 75 participants and 190 entries; Genesee County Open Swine Show had 50 participants and 160 entries; Draft Horse Show had 12 six-horse hitch teams from all over the country, the second largest show in the state.

So, what’s coming this summer? Some of it is new, and other features are bringing back or adding to old favorites, he said, such as more remote-control race cars, which will be free for kids, Pimm said. They were “a huge hit last year,” and will be locally sponsored by businesses.

There will be three kids’ days, with entertainment and midway discounts; nightly entertainment throughout the week; a petting zoo; two nights of fireworks; karaoke; the demolition derby and figure eight racing.

The Ag Society continues to invest proceeds into the fairgrounds, including $250,000 of mostly grant funds for electrical and sound upgrades — a work still in progress; upgrades of new siding, roof and furnace to the Kennedy Building; another construction/remodel project in the works for a new Agriculture Education Building; and upgraded wastewater/drainage.

The nonprofit is not dependent and focused merely on the fair and grounds, Pimm said, but also on additional events:

  • Six large horse shows booked for this year
  • Stockyard Classic Show Series
  • Food Truck Rodeo
  • A state Junior Beef Producers Show in April

“New, beginning in May … Memorial Day weekend … we’ll have a Stockyard Classic beef/sheep/swine and beef cattle series,” he said. “We’re doing a lot outside of the fair as well, to keep bringing money back to the fair.”

The Human Services Committee approved a resolution for the county to give $11,000 to the Genesee County Agricultural Society, to be used for 4-H judging and premium expenses, fair operations and related costs associated with the 2023 Genesee County Fair.

A resolution will be passed on to the next committee and eventually to the county Legislature for final vote. Funding has fluctuated over the years, with the highest level at $25,000, when the Society requested additional funding to make fair enhancements in 1999 to 2001; and zero funding in 2020 when the Society did not seek funding due to COVID-19.

This year's fair is set for July 22-29. To keep up-to-date on all of the fair events and the main page countdown clock, go to GC Fair. As it stands, there are 77 days, three hours, 11 minutes and nine seconds, no, eight, seven, six ...

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