Volunteers sought for paint party

BLANDFORD-With less than two months to opening day for the Blandford Fair, volunteers are needed to help spruce up the grounds.

“With the Blandford Fairgrounds being on top of the mountain, the buildings take a beating during the winter,” said Bruce Wyman, president of the Union Agricultural and Horticulture Society which manages the Blandford Fair.

Rick Barnard is seeking area residents interested in helping to paint three small food booth buildings – including the signature shortcake booth seen here – in August. (Lori Szepelak photo)

The Blandford Fair, a Labor Day tradition now in its 152nd year, is slated Aug. 30, 4 – 9 p.m.; Aug. 31, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sept. 1, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Sept. 2, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Three small buildings on the main walkway – two food booths and the signature shortcake booth – especially need some tender loving care.

“We are planning a spruce up painting party on Aug. 10 and are seeking the community’s involvement to help with the painting project,” said Wyman, adding a rain date is set for Aug. 17.

The one-day “Paint the Fair” project is slated from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Volunteers will be treated to a barbecue at noon that will include hamburgers and hot dogs. Also, volunteers will receive a one-day admission ticket to the fair.

“Ideally, we would like to have 10 individuals painting,” said Wyman, adding if there are more than 10 volunteers, he would like to see the youth building receive a new coat of paint.

During the daylong painting project, volunteers will scrap off the old paint, then prime and paint.

Rick Barnard, a retired union carpenter and general contractor, is supervising the project.

“The deterioration of the buildings is amazing,” said Barnard, adding his passion for volunteering at the Blandford Fair stems from growing up and attending hometown fairs.

The first three small food booth buildings, left to right, are in desperate need of a refreshing coat of paint, and volunteers are sought for a painting party in August at the Blandford Fairgrounds. (Lori Szepelak photo)

“I grew up enjoying fairs all of my life,” said Barnard. “Small town fairs are going away and we need to reinvest ourselves in helping out since it’s the only way the fairs are going to survive.”

Area residents interested in spending a day helping to refresh the small food booths are asked to contact Barnard at (413) 848-0154.

Persons interested in additional volunteer opportunities can visit www.blandfordfair.com and click on the Volunteer link for more information.

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