"It's all about the kids and the families," said Jack Prather, of Georgia, who operates OSCAR by remote control. "And the wonderful good food."Just ask the O'Connor sisters, Kerri Ann, 12, and Kelli, 9, of Hopatcong."He's pretty cool," said Kerri Ann, referring to OSCAR.Following several years of rain, the O'Connors and thousands of others took advantage of fair weather on the second to last day of the nearly 70-year-old tradition that pays homage to Garden State agriculture.
Depending on the weather, the 10-day event is expected to have attracted about 175,000 patrons, said spokesperson Kathy Cafasso. The fair opened Aug. 5 and closes today, when gates will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Hailing from Georgia where he was "assembled," OSCAR has been attending the fair since 1996 when "it was still the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show," Prather said. The friendly bot has undergone several upgrades and refers to himself as version 2.0.
Angela Browne and her daughter Madeline, 2, from Randolph go for a pony ride at the NJ State Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. (Staff Photo/ Meghan Ryan)
While OSCAR engaged passersby in friendly banter, or the occasional conga line, Elaine Kegelman of Andover buttered up to patrons in another way. Handing out crackers topped with freshly churned butter, she would have done Paula Deen proud.Cranking what resembled a gear attached to a metal lid, she churned heavy cream into butter, a process by hand that takes 20 minutes, she said."It depends on the weather," she said. "If it's hotter, it takes longer."Samplers also got a sip of buttermilk.In addition to butter and bots, the fair featured tried-and-trues such as Robinson's Paddling Porkers, racing and swimming pigs that are a favorite of Janelle Reed of Frankford. Reed was sampling beer served up fresh by Sussex area home brewers, who were anxiously awaiting the results of the 14th Annual Beer Competition.
read page 2 at: http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20100815/COMMUNITIES/100814028/1005/NEWS01/It-s-fair-weather--NJ-State-Fair-ending-today
For more information, visit http://www.newjerseystatefair.org.
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