SANDY CREEK — Myles Hill and Jersey calf Dumbo are nearly the same height. They both stood tall Tuesday as they made their first appearance at the 162nd Oswego County Fair representing Deerlick Acres farm in Mannsville.
After their first round in the showing ring, Myles gave Dumbo a snack of hay, and brushed his coat, excited to show off his first cow.
“I like Dumbo because he’s tiny and doesn’t pull me around,” he said.
Dustin Parker of Deerlick Acres brought several cows to the fair for Myles, a cousin, and other children to show.
Mr. Parker, who raises American Milking Shorthorns, said Dumbo is on loan for the fair from Porterdale Farms in Watertown, so Myles could have a calf his size.
“He is a first time showman,” Mr. Parker said of Myles. “It was to teach him how to show.”
Mr. Parker’s farm is one of 32 New York members of the American Milking Shorthorn Society.
“We have lots of kids with us here that we are helping start showing cows from different families,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for kids.”
Fair President Carol Sweeney said visitors will notice many improvements to the fairgrounds this year. She said the fair received a $90,000 grant last year that was a part of $5 million in funding for upgrades to agricultural fairs.
“We took a lot of our electricity and ran in underground, we got new stanchions for the barns — they look sharp,” she said. “We did a lot of safety things for the safety and comfort of our visitors.”
There is new pavement, some bathrooms have been remodeled and the fairgrounds has a new tractor.
“We are very fortunate to have these upgrades,” Ms. Sweeney said.
She said the amusement rides have doubled. Wristband specials for the rides are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, $20. Single tickets are $1 or 22 tickets for $20. There are no rides available on Sunday.
There are informational booths and exhibits, including an educational ride on the risks of drunken driving.
“They go around once and most people knock down a few cones, then they put on the alcohol impairment goggles and it’s a different story,” said Bob Lighthall, Oswego County Stop DWI coordinator. “It’s about twice the legal limit. We want them to experience and understand the level of impairment.”
Beyond the rides, info booths and vendors, the cattle barn is another popular attraction.
That’s where Myles and Dumbo will spend the week.
“Come out and support the fair,” Mr. Parker said.
Also showing are Scottish Highland Big Mac, a Llama named Borax and an Alpaca named Burley and Memphis the Berkshire pig.
As for the grandstand, harness racing, demolition derby and truck pulls are scheduled. Harness racing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday and is free to attend. Admission for the derby at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the truck pull held at 6 p.m. Friday, is $10 per person, per event.
The full schedule is at oswegocountyfair.com.