Granite State Fair in Rochester, NH had a successful opening weekend

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ROCHESTER – If the traffic jam with cars entering Rochester Exhibition Center on Saturday was any indication, the newly renamed Granite State Fair had a successful opening weekend.

The old Rochester Fair still has many longtime employees who return each year because they love the fair.

Among them was Mark Perry Sr., who said he was a 4H kid and always loved farming. He owns a dairy farm in Rochester, has been the general manager of the fair for over 20 years and has a cell phone ringing from a mooing cow.

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Perry was the General Manager of the Rochester Fair, now the Granite State Fair, for over 20 years.

His son, Mark, joins him in both businesses. The two ran the fair’s office as they have for many years.

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“I love the fair because there is something for everyone,” said Mark Sr. “The new fair is very similar to the old fair. The collaboration with (the executive director of the fair) EJ Dean and his team has been really good for the fair. It opened up new resources that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. I think it’s going to be good. “

Tanya Rhinerson from Durham brought her 2 year old daughter Iris Deschuytner to visit her first fair.

“She really loves animals,” Rhinerson said. “It’s a fun day for us.”

Nick Whitney is set to sell cotton candy at the Granite State Fair in Rochester on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

“We used to sneak into the fair when I was 10,” said Maurice Gagné, 75, a longtime resident of Rochester, said he would sneak into the fair at age of 10 years.

“I think this one is smaller, prettier,” said Gagné. “Although before, they had more animals, even stables. As a child, I liked to come and play on the tractors. I didn’t have a lot of money for the rides.”

Rochester resident Maurice Gagné with his daughter Angelina, longtime residents and fairground enthusiasts, are seen at the Granite State Fair in Rochester on Saturday September 18, 2021.

Gagné’s daughter, Angelina, said as a child she loved rides.

“I was coming with my friends on a school night,” she said. “It was a lot of fun. Now I really love seeing the animals.”

Nine-year-old Jacob Rand from Berwick liked tractors.

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“My stepdad has one,” said Jennifer Rand, Jacob’s mother. “He can get on that one sometimes. He would probably bring this one home if he thought he could.”

Dean said the goal is to bring the fair back to its roots, which lie in agriculture.

The middle of the Granite State Fair is a big part of the experience, as seen in Rochester on Saturday September 18, 2021.

The Guernsey cows on display belonged to Linda and Daniel St. Pierre of Pine Dust Farm in South Berwick. Linda said their family has been bringing animals to this fair for over 30 years.

“It’s a good fair,” said Daniel. “No matter what we need for the animals, they are doing their best to make it happen.”


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