Talk on Agricultural Fairs; Jan. 10

The Greece Historical Society presents: “Innocent Recreation – the Development of the Agricultural Fair”

Tuesday, January 10th , 7:00 p.m. Greece Town Hall by Lynn Belluscio, Curator of the Jell-O Museum

Merino Sheep

In 1812, Elkanah Watson exhibited three Merino sheep under the elm trees on the square in Pittsfield Massachusetts.  The success of this humble agricultural exhibition encouraged Watson to develop the Berkshire System for Agricultural Society Fairs which became the basis for all county and state fairs. In New York, Otsego County and Jefferson County were some of the first counties to hold agricultural society fairs. Watson developed a variety of activities that showcased the agricultural community – everything from parades to pastoral balls. He was often criticized for his diversions, but he rationalized that it was necessary to offer activities for the entire family in order to attract the entire community to the fair.  Whether Watson would have accepted demolition derbies and rock band concerts is a matter of conjecture, never the less, his “innocent recreations” are a legacy that today’s fair has inherited. Lynne Belluscio will share this program, “Innocent Recreation – the Development of the Agricultural Fair, based on Elkanah Watson’s Berkshire System”. Mrs.Belluscio originally presented this program in Washington, D.C at the Smithsonian Institution. Reservations are NOT necessary .

Mrs. Belluscio taught in the Rochester school system for five years.  She was lead interpreter at Genesee country museum and special events coordinator until 1988, has been active in the  Leroy historical society since 1988.   She is also past chairman of the western New York Association of Historical Agencies and president of the Association of Living History, Farms & Agricultural Museums. For the past three years she has served on the New York State Council of Arts review panel.

The public is welcome, admission is FREE, donations to support the Greece Historical Society are appreciated.