Saturday’s “Roosters Day at the Fair” celebration began with this year’s Miss Sussex singing the National Anthem. Ninety-nine-year-old Aldo Sayre opened the fair with his famous rooster crow, as he’s done at many of the annual fairs. Past rooster crowers Jules Marron and Warren Welsh were remembered for their opening crows over the fair’s 80 years.
This would have been the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show’s 80th anniversary but, of course, the fair was canceled because of COVID-19. Since Sussex County folks were itching for some fair-like entertainment in the great outdoors, the fairgrounds sponsored a “mini fair” on Sept. 19.
The good old-fashioned country fun included hay wagon and tractor rides, delicious carnival foods, and fall favorites like apple cider, apple pie, and cider donuts. Also on the agenda were farm animals, horse demonstrations, vintage cars provided by the Wanderers Car Club and a hilarious Ladies Skillet Toss.
All these down-home antics were in celebration of the debut of a children’s book written by local High Point Regional teachers Jeanne Heinke and Joan Smith and illustrated by several local artists.
Rooster is the longtime mascot of the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show/ New Jersey State Fair. The book follows his escapades as he enjoys a day at the fair. Books were available for purchase and signed by the authors and illustrators upon request. As of Sept. 21, the book is available for purchase at the Fair Office on Plains Road.