CARMEL, N.Y. –  County Executive MaryEllen Odell and other dignitaries celebrated the start of the 44th annual Putnam County 4-H Fair on Friday, July 24 at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in Kent. The fair, which is presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, will run through Sunday, July 26 and features games, crafts and animal exhibits. It also showcases the talents of Putnam residents.

“The Putnam County 4-H Fair is one of the premiere events held in the Hudson Valley region and I think that is because it is all about family,” said Odell. “This year is the Year of the Family in the county and certainly the 4-H Fair promotes the importance of family. It also shows how the residents of Putnam County consider themselves part of one big family. The 4-H Fair is staffed by hundreds of volunteers throughout the weekend who are simply doing their small part to make Putnam County a great place to live.”

Marjorie Keith, executive director of Cornell Cooperative, welcomed everyone to the fair. She also thanked the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Department for its efforts in helping set up for the fair.

“We are looking forward to a fabulous, beautiful weekend and we are off to a good start,” said Keith. “This fair really emphasizes all the positive things of Putnam County. It engages our youth and our good neighbors from throughout Putnam County come together to make the fair happen.”

Every year the 4-H Fair recognizes the efforts of one or two volunteers. This year the fair is dedicated to Al Lotrecchiano and his wife Dimmy of Carmel. Each of them has been a longtime volunteer for Cornell Cooperative Extension and other community organizations.

“These are two people who volunteer above and beyond what is expected,” said Keith. “They generously and unpretentiously volunteer their time and talents in many ways with numerous organizations, to make our Putnam community a better place to live.”

Al Lotrecchiano said that volunteering for the 4-H Fair has always been very special to him.

“I think it is because the 4-H Fair represents the perfect cross section of the people of Putnam County throughout the weekend,” he said.

Dimmy Lotrecchiano agreed with her husband. “I think the whole message of the fair is volunteerism—the importance of going out and doing what you can to make your county a better place,” she said.

At the fair there will be performances by amateur and professional musicians and dancers at the Shady Grove Theater.  View the entries that local residents submitted for the photography, quilt, baked goods, great vegetables and crafts exhibits. Stop by the Master Gardener Plant Sale which will feature colorful display of perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs for sale.  Master Gardeners will also be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

There will be demonstrations from Tony’s World of Science and Magic. In addition there will be pet shows, food, face painting, games, Civil War and Revolutionary War encampments, Putnam history, horse demos, chicken barbecue, fishing contest and more.

On Saturday afternoon there will be county auction at 3 p.m. Come bid and win tools, paintings, antique farm equipment, patio furniture and an array of other items.

The 4-H Fair has free admission and free parking. It is open until 6 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park is located at 201 Gipsy Trail Rd., Carmel, N.Y. 10512.

For more information, visit Cornell Cooperative Extension online

Photo caption: Al and Dimmy Lotrecciano of Carmel were honored for their years of volunteerism at the 44 annual Putnam County 4-H Fair which runs Friday, July 24 through Sunday, July 26 at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park in Kent. They are pictured with Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director Marjorie Keith (left)  and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell ( right).