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 chew the fat with Maureen Freniere, who lines up all the food vendors at the fair. Of course, like many fair volunteers, she’s worn several hats through the years.
What’s your favorite thing about the Westfield Fair?
For me, it’s a family tradition. That’s definitely the best part. I’ve been going my entire life, I’ve never missed a year. I’m fifth generation showing cattle, so it’s just something we do every year.
What do you do at the Westfield Fair?
I do the concessionaires, so the food vendors that come in, I just help coordinate them. We have a lot of the same people every year; some of them have been with us at least 30 years. They’re local and they give us a variety of our traditional fair foods, like the corndog and sausage. This year, we’re excited to be welcoming Northside Creamery as our ice cream vendor. Every year, we try to get somebody new. … My 4-H club and family farm both show beef cattle and dairy cattle.
How did you get involved with the fair?
My parents were involved. My father was president for a time. I started showing cattle and then eventually became a fair member, and now a volunteer. If we don’t come up through the ranks like this, it’s not going to be around. I have six nieces and nephews that are at every fair meeting. It’s important to us that every generation stays active and engaged.
When you’re not at the fair, what do you do?
We own Prospect Valley Farm in Westfield, on Pochassic Road. My brother, sister and I all own it together; it’s a family farm, sixth generation. I [also] work for the Eastern States Exposition in the sales department.
What’s the one thing that folks should make sure they don’t miss at the fair?
Probably the kid stuff. It’s the mini tractor pulls, the bike raffle. We really want this to be something you come to with your family year after year. There’s oxen pulls to watch, there’s a lot of New England traditional events that are there, and we encourage you to take the time to sit down and watch them. Take that minute and sit down with your family and watch what we have going on. We have a lot of kids that participate, that are exhibiting, which is cool, as well.