Closing Time: Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair Factoids ‘Til the End

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

That’s sort of how it goes when the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair ends after it’s traditional end-of-summer week-long stint — because it’s never really over.

The fair never really ends. And most of the people running it are still around year-round.

So are the fairgoers in the area. It’s called community. And it’s something that may culminate annually at the fair, but is a mainstay of life in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

But there is that annual closing night. There are also some fair traditions that have not ensued over the years. Do you know what they are?

We do.

Did you know? …

• that there used to be a high wire act on closing night? It dates back to the mid- to late- 60s and early 70s. I think Batman may have actually been there, too.

• There also used to be a band playing nightly on the front balcony of the firehouse. The bands King James and His Court and Pete Galatro’s Orchestra were staples. And, in later years, there was carnival music piped onto the grounds. Notice that there is no longer any music?

• Candy apples, a longtime fair treat, are no longer made and sold at the fair.

• There used to be a booth where you could win Kewpie dolls and many of them served as toilet paper covers, with embroidered skirts to cover the roll.

• There was also a booth where television sets and other smaller appliances were prizes.

• There was no super 50/50. There was a car raffle.

• There was a carousel ride.

• The Zipper has been a fair ride since the dawn of time.

Generations of Fair Haven Fire Department people have worked the fair for decades. Tradition. Some things never change. It ain’t over.

— Elaine  Van Develde