For years, Chautauqua County Fair Board member David Wilson has issued the same warning before the cannon is fired. This year was no different.
He said, "For those of you who haven't been here before, the cannon is loud." He recommended that those present cover their ears.
This year he had an additional problem. A fairgoer drove a car toward the cannon after it had been lighted and was ready to fire. Wilson waved his arms and shouted so the driver would stop and back up. Luckily Wilson has a loud voice. The driver stopped and disaster was averted.
Eric Bates representing Bates Amusement covers his ears after lighting the cannon that would signal the official opening of the fair.
Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Eric Bates of Bates Brothers Amusements lighted the cannon and covered his ears.
Bates Brothers Amusement Company is responsible for the Midway this year.
After the opening ceremony, Bates explained that his company now will be serving the Cattaraugus County Fair, the Warren County Fair and the Chautauqua County Fair. He said he has been working in the amusement business for 48 years.
"I bought my first ride when I was a freshman in high school," he said.
He is sold on the concept of the county fair.
"Fairs support the community as well as provide entertainment," he said.
Fair board president Mooney Harrington, in his remarks, welcomed a number of county legislators, including County Executive Greg Edwards, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, representatives from New York state Sen. Cathy Young's office and Congressman Tom Reed's office, as well as other members of the fair board of directors.
He was pleased to note that Bates Amusement used lights from Truck Lite in Falconer as well as engines from Cummins Engine in Jamestown. He mentioned the new attractions and concluded with, "Enjoy the fair."