Rain clouds parted just in time for the start of the Herkimer County Fair's opening ceremonies on Tuesday, where organizers remembered past board members and asked visitors to remember to help others.
Organizers were able to keep the event outdoors at the Memorial Park after a heavy rainfall lifted on Tuesday afternoon.
An invocation was given by Pastor Mark Andersen, after the raising of the American flag and a singing of the national anthem by Megan Breit, of Frankfort.
"This year has been a difficult one for Herkimer County," said Andersen, of the Herkimer Reformed Church. "We pray that this will be a time of celebration and relief, joy, peace and excitement for the people of Herkimer County."
Andersen also prayed for the presenters to do their best, for the safety of the visitors and "that all who enter through here may experience joy."
Gerry Elthorp, treasurer of the fair's Board of Directors, said they are having a food drive for this year's fair, something other county fairs across the country started before severe flooding hit the area. "The table is set up in the commercial building. We hope to see it piled high," she said. "We desperately need it after the flooding in July."
Organizers remembered past board members - Herm Anderson, Earl Alexander and Bill Ortlieb - by placing a rose at the fair's memorial.
"As Mr. Andersen said, this was a bad year. Not only for Herkimer County, but for the Herkimer County Fair, as well," said Cheryl Ortlieb, after placing a rose for her husband, Bill Ortlieb. "Those three were the three musketeers. Those three were always together and they are all here in spirit."
Organizers also took time to recognize the support from the village of Frankfort over the years. Police Chief Ron Petrie accepted a plaque on behalf of the village. Organizers had planned to give it to the village during its 150th anniversary celebration, but the event was postponed due to the flooding.
Elthorp mentioned the new sheep building that was dedicated to its sponsor, "Call 811." She said the building will keep the sheep in a separate area from the goats.
Elthorp also talked about a new board at the fair that lists all of its sponsors.
"Make sure you check out the new sponsor board," said Dick Elthorp, president of the Board of Directors. "Without them, we wouldn't have the entertainment or the quality that we have here at the fair."
The fair kicked off with its beauty pageants Tuesday night, followed by a fireworks display scheduled for 10:30 p.m.
Children's Day will be part of Wednesday's events, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which means children ages 11 and younger will be admitted for free. Rides open at noon. There will also be a youth dairy show, a Central New York Garden Tractor Pull and Shania Twin will perform at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.