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Around The Grange
Brooklyn Fair cut short by weather

By Emily Groves, Norwich Bulletin (8/27/11)

  AUGUST 28, 2011 --

Today is the final day of this year’s Brooklyn Fair.

Fair officials have canceled Sunday’s fair because of Hurricane Irene.

Sandy Eggers, president of the Windham County Agricultural Society, which runs the Brooklyn Fair, said this is the first time in the more than 40 years she has been involved with the fair that it has closed.

She said there have been years when heavy rain has forced “washout” days, but the fair was still open.

Eggers said she and other officials decided Friday to cancel Sunday’s events and cut back today’s because of  public safety concerns. Officials also wanted to allow vendors to break down their equipment and get home before the storm hits.

Most of the events scheduled for Sunday were moved either to Friday or today. Eggers said the garden tractor and ox pulls have been canceled.

The fair’s carnival will not operate today. Admission to the fair will be half-price, or $5. Children 12 and younger will get in free.

She said officials are trying to move Sunday’s road race to another weekend, because it raises money for several local charities.

“It’s business as usual, just more action-packed than usual,” said Jody Cameron, chairman of the society’s board of directors.  Cameron is also the President of the Connecticut State Grange.

Outside the cattle barn Friday, Megan Hebert, 15, of Woodstock’s Westview Farm, sprayed down Rebecca, a 6-month-old Holstein cow. Megan then squirted a stream of soap along Rebecca’s back and began scrubbing.

Megan said the hardest part of showing cows is “keeping everything together and clean,” and the best part is the reward of a good day in the ring. “It shows you brought up a good animal,” she said.

Resident Nancy Chauvin and her granddaughters Sofia, 4, and Sienna Shroyer, 2, slowly made their way through the sheep shed. Sofia said the sheep are her favorite animal, “because they’re so soft.”

Sienna shyly reached her hand in between the fencing, toward one of the sheep. But after acknowledgment from the animal, she quickly pulled her hand back and giggled.

“He licked my finger,” she said, holding out her hand as proof.

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