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The 151st Annual Tioga County Fair Kicks Off

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Horse racing, food, carnival rides and more... with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, the 151st Tioga County Fair began.

The annual, four day event is expected to draw over 8,000 people from throughout the Southern Tier.

But after so many years of operating, the president of the Tioga County Fair Board says the key to success is planning.

“It’s kind of panic, we plan eleven and a half months of the year and for a two week time frame, last week and this week, it’s all planning and putting things in place, making sure we have people in the proper place we designated them to. It's a little bit nerve wracking, today [Wednesday] you might see I’m a little bit full of nerves but Saturday afternoon and evening I’ll feel a lot better.” said, Jonathan Marks, President of Tioga County Fair Board.

Organizers say there’s a little something at the fair offered for everyone.

Eileen Sclnekovic, Food Vendor Organizer said, “We have the grandstand, 'Demolition Derby', 'Battle of the Bands', french fries, fried dough, kettle corn, anything you could possibly want. We are really promoting a lot of local vendors and you come back and see old friends and it's really a nice thing”

And for a lot of the vendors and organizers this year, the fair is a familiar place.

“I’ve been down to the fair since I was probably ten years old. My Father was president of the fair board, my Mother was involved and I did this for fifteen years and took a little break and I've been back for the past five years," said Sclnekovic.

Donald Wheeland, a first time vendor selling kettle corn said, “I’ve been coming here since I was a little boy, I’ve always been so excited  watching it through the years and I said someday, I’m gonna have one and I asked my friend Dale if he wanted to do it with me and he said sure why not, were old and retired and that’s why we're doing it... kettle corn and it’s a blast.”

Contributors say its that local feel that makes the fair stand out.

“A lot of the local people in Owego, their families are still here involved in the fair. It’s just wonderful. I’m glad to be part of it,” said Sclnekovic.