Uncertain Future for Rochester Country Fair

If you love the Rochester Country Fair, then it’s time to answer the call to volunteer to ensure there actually is a Country Fair this year.

During a discussion with the Rochester Board of Selectmen on January 8, Country Fair Board of Directors and Country Fair Committee member Kelly Morgado said, in light of a slew of committee resignations and a lack of volunteers, the future of the Country Fair is uncertain.

Not good for annual fairgoers.

Morgado said the Country Fair Committee desperately needs new members and volunteers, especially to help coordinate and facilitate children’s events this year.

“We need a lot of help,” Morgado said. “The outlook for the fair right now is very dismal. I’m not sure what, if anything, we’ll be able to do this year.”

Morgado said a social media campaign calling for volunteers turned up one person interested in helping out – many more are still needed.

As for the minor changes to the fairgrounds the selectmen approved, some fence maintenance will be performed, as well as the replacement of some rotten posts. Some vandalism from the fall will be fixed, and the food booth will receive some much-needed electrical upgrades. Furthermore, a structure known as the “cat house” near the Pine Street entrance will be moved to Gate C near the field, and the current small building at Gate C will be placed in the rear of the fairgrounds for storage.

“No additions, just rearrangement? Sounds good,” said Selectman Greenwood Hartley.

The motion to approve the work passed.

On the light side of the news, Rochester’s oldest resident, Marion (Henrique) Thomas, turned 101 on December 21. Thomas is the current holder of the Boston Post Cane.

In other matters, Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar acknowledged the Rochester emergency response employees and the Highway Department employees who worked throughout the recent storm, and she thanked them for a job well done.

“Having gone through other towns, they did a fabulous job,” said Chairman Brad Morse.

Nomination papers are now available to residents who wish to run for office for the 2018 Annual Election. The deadline to pull papers and return them to the Town Clerk’s Office is February 21. The last day to register to vote in time for the April 11 election is March 22.

As per the request of Selectman Hartley, the board will seek to reactivate a Capital Planning Committee and actively solicit members. Selectman Naida Parker said Town Meeting had adopted a bylaw to allow for such a committee, but it resulted in no interest by the public to serve on the committee.

The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen will be January 22 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

Rochester Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry


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