By Stephanie Hall
is early, really early, and Chris Bain is at the Sands-Willets House even
before the sun is up, setting up perimeter fences, much like a farmer. The
coffee starts brewing for the volunteers and trustees who will soon arrive, and
there is still much to do before the ribbon cutting ceremony with local
officials. Chris’ daughter, Ellie, is home getting a little extra sleep
before the big Fair day. She has enlisted her friends, Kelsey Weisburd and
Sally Hecht, and will soon be
getting to the Sands-Willets House which serves as the fair grounds. The
sun peeks over the horizon and it promises to be the best Fair Day yet!
For five years, Chris Bain, president of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, has been the chairman of the fall fair, and his daughters Julia and Ellie have tirelessly worked alongside their dad. This year, Julia was not able to come as she just started her freshman year at Ithaca College in the Musical Theater Department. Both Julia and Ellie were in the Port Summer Show's "Shrek The Musical" this year.
Chris' oldest daughter, Cristina, is away in Hanoi, Vietnam, working on her PhD. Ellie continued the Bain family tradition this year, manning both the face painting and pumpkin painting tables. Despite torrential rain, the fair was busier than ever and Ellie's pumpkin painting table quickly sells out all 50 pumpkins.
Chris was everywhere at the fair, riding in "The Black Beast," the 1909 restored race car that was in the first Indianapolis 500, escorting media and even doling out popcorn.
There is something about the Fall Country Fair that attracts families and generations of Port Washington residents. When you walk around the fair, you hear folks comment on how much they enjoyed the fair when they were a youngster and how wonderful it is to share the tradition of the fair with their children.
As the Fall Country Fair comes to a close, Chris helps a mom pack up two wet painted pumpkins. Two youngsters and an even smaller one in a stroller don't seem to want to go home yet. "What was your favorite thing about the fair?" Chris asks one of them. She replies with a huge grin … "the PONIES, definitely the ponies!"
Memories were made for many families this year and the Country Fair will continue to be great Port Washington tradition in the future. See you next year at the 49th Annual Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society Country Fair.