Bucks County Herald

Hunterdon 4-H fairgrounds to be named for late founder


The Hunterdon County Freeholder Board acted Tuesday, Aug. 1, to name the site of the county’s annual 4-H Fair at the South County Park “The Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds” in recognition of the late 4-H Fair founder and president, who passed away earlier this year.

“This is a fitting tribute to the man who was the heart, soul, and foundation of our county’s successful 4-H Fair,” Freeholder Director John E. Lanza said. “Roger was every bit one of the iconic figures of Hunterdon County.”

The late Roger Everitt was part of a small group of farmers, former 4-H members and Board of Agriculture members who came together to start the Hunterdon fair after the owners of the privately owned Flemington Fair decided in 1999 to cease operating the fair on Route 31 and sell it for development. The new fair was first held at Flemington Fairgrounds in 2000, and the Freeholders later bought land (the former Ringoes Drive-In movie theater) to become South County Park in East Amwell, with the fairgrounds its main use.

The first fair at the new location, at the intersection of routes 179 and 202, was held in 2004.

With a large contingent of the Everitt family in attendance at the meeting, Kathy Kovacs, one of Everitt’s daughters, told the Freeholders, “Our fair is the epitome of Hunterdon County. It was always my dad’s thrill to see family and friends come together and enjoy a good old fashioned day at the fair. If he were here, he would say, ‘That’s not really necessary.’ That was not what it is about. He was not about any sort of glory, but we thank you for honoring him in this way.”

“The greatest thing about Roger is that every time you’d go to the fair there would be a thousand things going on and you’d walk up to Roger, and he always had a smile on his face, no matter how much chaos there seemed to be,” Freeholder Rob Walton said. “He had time for you, had a smile, shook your hand and gave you an earful about what was going on at the fair and how wonderful things were going to be. He always made the day brighter. He is sorely missed and I am glad to support this.”

The 4-H Fair, held annually at the South County Park on Route 179 and scheduled for Aug. 23 to 27 this year, highlights Hunterdon County’s farming culture and is attended by thousands.

Recognition of the naming of the fairgrounds for Everitt will be made at the Opening Ceremonies of the 4-H Fair at 4 p.m. Aug. 23.



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