BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. >> The Saratoga County Fair has been around for 176 years.
However, for one local retired educator, this annual summer event has special meaning.
Richard “Dick” Decker has spent countless summer days and evenings there, as both a visitor and fair official.
“I have always wanted the fair patron to have an enjoyable learning experience and fun,” said Decker, a past fair president and retired Saratoga Springs City Schools guidance counselor.
This year’s week-long fair begins Tuesday, July 18 and runs through Sunday, July 23.
Decker is also a past vice president, and has been on the Entertainment, Nominating, Security, Building and Grounds, and 175th Anniversary committees. Every year he visits other fairs around the state and in Florida, looking for new ideas.
Of course, he has plenty of memories about the Saratoga County Fair such as grandchildren winning ribbons, the purchase of land for extra parking, Talent Contest winners going on to win at the New York State Fair, and riding a six-horse draft hitch.
The fair keeps growing almost every year. It has gone from 12 directors and four officers to 21 directors, with officers elected from within.
“Without the cooperation and hard work of the all-volunteer board of directors, past and present, the Saratoga County Fair could not be as successful as it is,” Decker said.
Education is also an important component of the fair experience and he encourages youth participation. School kids’ work is showcased under the grandstand. 4H exhibits and animal shows are larger than those…
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