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Jefferson County Fair starts Tuesday

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WATERTOWN — The Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds are filling up, and it’s once again time for the Jefferson County Fair.

Starting Tuesday, the fairgrounds on Coffeen Street will be open to the public, filled with games, rides, exhibits, competitions and more.

For those who have visited the Jefferson County Fair regularly, there’s new stuff in the works that regulars won’t recognize.

“We’ve got a brand-new ride, called the Wave Slinger,” said Robert D. Simpson, president of the fair’s executive committee. “It’s big.”

Parts of the fair have already begun, with the arts and crafts competition starting Sunday. Mr. Simpson said there are dozens of competitions and contests at the fair this year, from animal judging to bingo, eating contests and an airplane-throwing competition.

He said the fair’s animal competitions, which have been around since it started in 1817, will be decided by some of the best judges in the world.

“These judges are not just local, they come with national accreditation,” he said.

To set up the fair, Mr. Simpson and his team have worked for months. As the fairgrounds fill, regulators from New York state and Jefferson County have inspected the rides, food stalls, infrastructure and safety systems. The animal shows have been checked for the health and well-being of the animals and onlookers, and the county health department remains on hand.

Earlier this summer, the state banned bird shows to prevent the spread of the avian flu. That ban was lifted last month, as the disease’s spread slowed, and Mr. Simpson said there are no other restrictions for the disease.

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