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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Young and old excited to experience Marshfield Fair, which opens today


GREG DERR/The Patriot Ledger.

Helping set up the fair’s poultry show, 4-H member Jacob Forrett, 6, of Dighton pushes a wheelbarrow on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.

By Patrick Ronan The Patriot Ledger

Aug 19, 2011
MARSHFIELD — Denise Coppenrath guided a little red wagon along the outskirts of the Marshfield fairgrounds Thursday morning. The two children she had in tow were wide-eyed, entranced by their surroundings.
Jonny, 3, and Sophia, 1, beheld the sights of towering amusement park rides, multi-colored tents, and a team of workers putting the finishing touches on the 144th annual Marshfield Fair, which opens Friday, Aug. 18, for a 10-day run.
“He is already picking out his favorite rides,” Coppenrath, the children’s aunt, said, nodding toward Jonny.
Fair President Leonard LaForest wasn’t in a wagon Thursday, but he identified with the children’s excitement.
“It’s kind of like the culmination you feel on the night before Christmas,” LaForest said. “We’re putting all the last-minute things together, to make sure we have enough of everything and to make sure everything fits.”
LaForest said this year’s advance ticket sales are comparable to last year’s. The turnout is always heavily influenced by the weather, which put a dent in last year’s numbers.
As of Thursday night, the National Weather Service was predicting mostly sunny skies this weekend, with high temperatures in the low to mid-80s.
Several vendors arrived Thursday to set up their tents and booths.
This is the sixth year of working the fair for caricature artist Jason Carrier of Warwick, R.I. His craft has taken him to resorts and theme parks. across the country, including Walt Disney World, where he worked for nine years.
Carrier said the Marshfield Fair is among his favorite destinations.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a fun fair and it’s really busy, which is good, business-wise.”
Fair organizers are working closely with the Marshfield Police Department to address public safety issues that can accompany large crowds, specifically traffic issues. LaForest said the fair also employs its own security team to mitigate criminal activity.
“The last year few years we’ve been blessed with no real problems,” he said.


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