BERKELEY – The Ocean County Fair, in its 71st year, still continues to amaze.
Rides, games, animals, and other excitement drew large crowds to the fair grounds. It was scheduled for July 11 through July 15 at Robert J. Miller Airpark, Route 530 in Berkeley.
The 4-H continued to be a huge part of the fair. Families showed off the goats, ducks, rabbits, and other animals that they cared for in the months and years leading up to the fair. Many were brought out by the family members and people were allowed to pet them (as long as they cleaned their hands). Some could also get their picture taken with a goat for a $1 donation to charity.
The 4-H is more than just animal raising, though. Kids showed off their projects on agriculture, sewing, science, and art.
People weaved through the 4-H tents, and made their way to tents set up by county offices as well as vendors. Shops sold candles, clothes, and jewelry.
Popcorn, funnel cake, empanadas, and other treats were for sale, or people could cool off with root beer and Italian ice.
Rides spun, looped, and raised into the sky. There was a truck ride where kids could pretend they were driving. And then there was the bumper car ride where they had total control.
Games of skill and chance surrounded the rides. Darts, fishing, and rifle games were played to earn inflatable and stuffed toys. A barker would challenge people to guess their age.
The Sheriff’s Department had an inflatable device that released cool mist. The weather was sunny without being too warm, though. A quick flash of rain had hit in the mid-afternoon, hours before the fair opened.
That was just enough rain to hold the dust down, said John Horning, the yard manager. It took the edge off the heat and actually made the rest of the evening quite enjoyable.
“When the weather is good, we do good,” he said. Last year, he recalled losing at least one day to rain. That really hurts an outside activity that is so dependent on the weather.
For more information, visit OceanCountyFair.com.