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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rochester, NH Fair is building on last year's success


Rochester Fair Manager Mark Perry displays one of 385 different local milk bottles from yesteryear — this specimen is from French's Dairy in Dover — along with the plate from milkman Eddie Leslie's delivery truck. Leslie passed away in 2008, and his family recently bequeathed his collection of dairy artifacts to the Rochester Fair museum, where it is being prepared for viewing. John Nolan/Times photo

By JOHN NOLANjnolan@fosters.com Tuesday, September 6, 2011ROCHESTER — How many people attended last year's Rochester Fair? As usual, that's a closely guarded secret, but indications are that attendees were well in excess of the 125,000 figure occasionally given out by General Manager Mark Perry.
Among the signs of recent success are a brand new tractor chugging round the grounds and a major upgrade to the fairground's electrical system. In addition, the pricing formula introduced last year is being repeated.
"Last year's pricing structure was extremely well received. Hence the reason we are doing it again," said Perry.
The 136th Rochester Fair will open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 and run through the evening of Sunday, Sept. 25. The admission cost for everyone aged three to 103 will again be $10 at the gate, with the bonus being a bracelet that allows the wearer to have unlimited free rides on the midway. Thus, a family of four will pay $40 admission, but then enjoy rides all afternoon and evening for free — a saving of $72 on the previous cost of four mechanical rides bracelets.
No one can go on a ride without a bracelet, which brought dismay to quite a number of people who snuck in through holes in the fence on the fair's opening day in 2010, said Perry.
"They were trying to beat the system, but you can only get a bracelet at the gate," he said. To thwart other enterprising citizens, the color of the fair bracelets is changed daily, and as folks leave the fair, their bracelets are snipped off their wrists and collected.
"People get creative when times are tough," said Perry with a grin, adding, "Without argument, ours is the best pricing structure of any fair in New England."
He pointed out that admission to fairs such as Fryeberg and Deerfield is also $10

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