Around Town

Faces of the Fair: Al Pighetti

Al Pighetti

WESTFIELD — As we count down to this year’s Westfield Fair, every day this week The Westfield News will interview one of the volunteers who make this annual event happen. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another profile of one of your neighbors.

Today we meet with Al Pighetti, who took a bit of a different path to volunteering at the fair. He didn’t get there through a connection to farming, but rather through his work with BMX — the bicycle-based extreme sport that runs a showcase race each year on the Sunday of the fair, and uses the fairgrounds as its home track throughout the summer.


What’s your favorite thing about the Westfield Fair?

It brings you back a little bit in time, when things were simpler. When people raised their own food, had their own animals, things of that nature. Didn’t rely on the grocery stores quite as much. Made their own entertainment.


What do you do at the Westfield Fair?

I’m [primarily] involved with the BMX portion. Other than that, I just kind of help … try to help with the maintenance and so forth: helping with the upkeep of the buildings, helping keep the place trimmed up a little bit, helping clean up after the fair, helping get ready for the fair, and maintaining the BMX track.


How did you get involved with the fair?

Through the BMX, actually. We were looking for a place to have a BMX track [in the 1980s], and it seemed like the perfect place. Gradually, I just became more involved with trying to help them out as best I can.


When you’re not at the fair, what do you do?

Basically, that’s pretty much it. I’m retired now. Just the maintenance of the track — after a rainstorm, or just keeping grass mowed, backs of the berms weed-whacked down. During the fair, we’ll be running on Sunday, if people want to get an idea of what BMX is all about.


What’s the one thing that folks should make sure they don’t miss at the fair?

I enjoy the animals. It’s not often you get a chance to get up close to all the animals and give them a little pet, or just appreciate how awesome they are. I just never realized how friendly cows can be towards people. You think of them as just providing your milk and beef, but they’re a pretty friendly animal. I talk to some of the people who raise the animals and show them, and they tell me how excited [the animals] get when they go on the trailer to be taken around to the fairs. Not being a farmer, you learn a lot of things about what goes into it. The other thing I really enjoy is the exhibits the 4-H people put together, and how talented they are with their crafts. And, of course, the way everybody works together to make the thing happen.

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