Visit the Government Tents at the 4-H Fair for Fun and Information
Aug. 6-8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
BRIDGEWATER – Are you planning a staycation in August or just looking for a fun way to spend a day or evening close to home? At the Somerset County 4-H Fair you can enjoy farm animals, foods prepared on outdoor grills, 4-Hers’ projects, free family fun and a chance to stroll outdoors with family and friends.
The 4-H Fair will run Aug. 6 to 8, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, at the Somerset County 4-H Fairgrounds at North Branch Park on Milltown Road. For directions, go to somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/4hfair/directions.html
Free shuttle buses will run from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Raritan Valley Community College on Route 28 in North Branch. Buses will drop visitors by the footbridge at the entrance to the fairgrounds.
“The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud and pleased to once again be a part of this annual celebration of our rich agricultural heritage,” said Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione.
“We invite residents to visit the Somerset County government tents, which will feature various activities, games and information on important citizen programs and services,” he said. “The 4-H Fair is a wonderful opportunity for county government to get the word out in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere about the many programs and services we offer.”
Employees from close to 30 divisions and/or affiliated agencies will be available to answer questions and provide information. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about county government through games, activities and interactive projects.
Again this year, the Board of Freeholders will sponsor a souvenir photo booth at which visitors can receive a free instant picture. Photos will be taken each day from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Board of Freeholders and the Division of Solid Waste Management, through a solid waste management program grant, will sponsor Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery on Friday, Aug. 8, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Prep Tent. An educator will blend nature, environment and conservation to teach how humans impact the environment. Visitors will see various animals and learn what they can do to save the earth.
Also, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office will have a K-9 Demonstration at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, in the Clover Theater.
New this year will be short demonstrations throughout the day by the photo backdrop in the government Main Tent. Demonstrations include:
A schedule for all three days will be posted outside the Main Tent.
Other demonstrations and activities will be at the Sheriff’s Office and the Somerset County Library System’s booths in the large tent adjacent to the county’s Main Tent, as follows:
The Library System will have crafting projects from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 4 p.m. daily. They will provide information about their Museum Program, Seed Saver Program at the Peapack & Gladstone Library, Web App and more. Also, visitors can take “selfies” with life-sized cutouts of Albert Einstein and Jane Goodall.
In the Government Main Tent, the Office of Emergency Management will have representatives from the Red Cross at their tables and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and County Animal Response Team (CART) trailers behind their table. The Planning Division will have information relating to their 60th Anniversary Celebration.
On Wednesday, the Vocational & Technical Schools will have an inflatable soil tunnel behind their table for children of all ages to experience. Visitors will see what lives in the soil as they walk through it. Also at their table will be a hydroponic and careers display.
Also, kids can enjoy a beanbag toss game and a puzzle at the Board of Freeholders booth and play games and activities at the Planning Board, Cultural & Heritage Commission, Rutgers Cooperative Education/Family & Community Health Sciences, Division of Youth Services, Richard Hall Community Mental Health Center and Health Department booths.
The Youth Council will have a Fatal Vision Goggles activity each day, allowing users to experience the visual impairment caused by drugs or alcohol, the Bridge Division will have a train running through a make-believe town and the Engineering Division will have a bridge-building project and a life-size traffic signal.
At the Roads Division setup, to the right of the footbridge entrance, kids can operate a full-sized Gradall and excavator and at the Somerset County Park Commission tent they can play a game.
Several booths will have drawings for prizes that have been generously donated by local businesses and organizations. Some of the prizes include tickets to the Raritan Valley Community College Theatre and Somerset Patriots’ home games; Leisure Pursuit coupons for Somerset County Park Commission programs; and gift certificates to local restaurants, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chimney Rock Inn, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Perkins Family Restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, Bridgewater Diner and the Venetian Grille.
Other prizes include a Sunoco gas gift card from RideWise TMA; a Dumpster In A Bag from Waste Management of New Jersey; a composter; a Serenity Basket of relaxation items from the Commission on Child Abuse and Missing Children; a dozen red roses from Scott’s Florist; a gift card to ShopRite from the employees of the Somerset County Board of Social Services; a gift card to Stop & Shop from Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County and EmPoWER Somerset of Somerville, New Jersey; a gift card to ShopRite from Saker ShopRites Inc.; a School Supplies Basket from Friends of Somerset County Youth; and a Back-to-School Kit and an Italian food/serving basket from the employees of the Somerset County Community Development Office.
In case of heavy-rain conditions or a high volume of visitors at a particular time, which impacts parking at the fairgrounds, visitors could be prohibited from parking at the fairgrounds for a period of time. If so, proceed to Raritan Valley Community College to take advantage of free shuttle buses. Signs will direct visitors to the proper parking area at the college. Directions to the college are available at www.raritanval.edu/about/directions.html.
Visitors can sign up for weather and emergency text alerts for evacuations of the Fairgrounds and re-openings. You don’t need Internet access on your cell phone nor do you need a Twitter account to receive these alerts. You simply need a cell phone that is able to receive text messages. To sign up, text the words: “Follow 4HAlerts” to “40404.” Upon signing up, you will receive confirmation that you are signed up and information on how to stop getting alerts. Before signing up for alerts, make sure your text message does not have an automatic signature. Standard text-message rates may apply.
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the 4-H Information Tent, across from the footbridge, to pick up a schedule of events and a layout of the fairgrounds before beginning their adventure. Visitors and volunteers may bring a canned food item to be donated to the Somerset County Food Bank Network. Blue bins will be at the entrance to the 4-H Information Tent.
Due to the crowds and hot weather, visitors are asked to leave their pets at home.
For more information about the Fair, call the Ted Blum 4-H Center at 908-526-6644 or visit http://somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/4hfair/. A schedule of events is available at http://somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/4hfair/FairSchedules.html