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BARTON - The Orleans County Fairgrounds were vandalized during the overnight hours Wednesday. The vandals poured buckets of paint on the floors, smashed various structures, emptied several fire extinguishers, and painted profanity on several walls, inside and out. The profanity consisted of vulgar language and some racist slurs.
The 145th Orleans County Fair is set to open in about two weeks. Although the damage has caused anger, frustration, and more time needed for labor, the fair will go on and be better than ever, said Loire Seadale, the superintendent of arts and crafts and a fair director.
Floral Hall Thursday afternoon was covered in paint splatter, broken glass, and white powder from the fire extinguishers used throughout the building. Workers were hard at work spraying the floor to clean up the mess. Various buildings throughout the grounds were damaged.
Seadale had worked hard on sewing backdrop curtains for displays in Floral Hall and the person or persons involved in the crimes poured a gallon of paint in the tote bag containing the curtains. The vandals also used various objects to smash an antique display case. The fairgrounds has cameras and a security system but it was not on that evening for some unknown reason.
According to Deputy MacFarlane with the Orleans County Sherriffâ€™s Department, who is investigating the incident, footprints and other evidence was obtained from the scene and is being processed.
As of Thursday morning, there were no suspects. MacFarlane believes two to four people were involved between the ages of 12 to 15 based on evidence observed.
McFarlane estimated damage at about $1,000, along with hours and hours of extra labor to clean up the mess.
Harvey Cleveland, president of the fair association, said the fair has had some minor vandalism in the past but nothing like this. He said he is disappointed and angry. But with some additional hard work, the fair will go on.