Brooklyn Fair set to reopen for its 171st season with some new changes

Windham

BROOKLYN, Conn. (WTNH) – Finishing touches were being put on at the Brooklyn Fair Thursday morning before the gates opened at 4 p.m.

“We have a few butterflies in there now but today we’re going to have a releasing of the butterflies,” said Ryan Vertefeuille, President of the Windham County Agricultural Society which puts on the four-day fair. Like many others it didn’t happen last year.

“It’s such a big step forward to be able to have a fair,” said Vertefeuille. “It feels like it’s been five years since we’ve had one.”

“I’m very excited to be back to it. I missed it,” said Emily Myers who will be showing some of her cows called the Grumpy Girls at the 171st Brooklyn Fair. It would have been the 172nd if last year’s fair wasn’t canceled.

“Annually here we expect around 75,000 visitors,” said Vertefeuille.

A big audience for Myer’s beloved bovines.

“They’re both dairy cows and their Guernseys and they’re mother and daughter,” said Myers. “Sugar’s her mom and then Cookie’s the baby.”

While many things will stay the same some things will be different.

One is that the indoor exhibits are now one way. So you walk in one direction on one side of the building and then you walk in the other direction on the other side of it.

They also have sanitizing stations placed throughout the fairgrounds, hand washing stations, and for the first time, the town of Brooklyn has a booth where you can get vaccinated if you want.

First selectman, Richard Ives, (D) Brooklyn, expects to see at least the 25 people who got their first vaccination at a clinic in town on Aug. 4.

“The hook, the bribe if you will was if you come and get vaccinated we’ll give you a free ticket to the fair. Come and have a second shot here,” said Ives.

They always had hand washing stations outside the animal exhibits but now there are more of them in more places.

“We switched to wrist bands at the gate instead of stamps so we’re not transferring the stamp from person to person to person,” said Vertefeuille.

Changes are being considered by many fairs which are sharing ideas. 

“It’s like a day-by-day planning process,” said Vertefeuille.

Right now masks are only mandatory at the medical building on the fairgrounds.

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