State Fair opens Friday, without scooter or wheelchair vendor
PUBLIC SAFETY. This year's State Fair will be accessible to those with mobility concerns, but attendees will need to bring their own wheelchair or scooter, since the Fair's long-time vendor had to withdraw this


The newly renovated Richards Building is more accessible than ever for people with mobility issues, but the Fairgrounds' lack of a scooter and wheelchair vendor for 2019 may put a damper on attendance for those who do not have their own mobility devices. The NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show runs from Friday, Aug 2 through Sunday Aug 11. (Photos by Mandy Coriston)

By Mandy Coriston
The Fairgrounds has announced that they’d been unable to find a vendor to provide scooter or wheelchair rentals at the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show this year, after their long-time vendor withdrew due to a personal matter. The announcement came Thursday, July 25 via the Fairgrounds website and social media.
According to fair spokeswoman Karen Cafasso, several options were explored, including finding another outside vendor, reaching out to local business who supply mobility devices, and leasing the equipment and using the fair’s own staffers to handle rentals. However, none of those options proved to be time- or cost-effective, given the 10-day run of the fair, the insurance, and the amount of equipment and/or people needed, she said. The fair remains accessible to those with mobility concerns, including new ramps and entrances to some buildings, including the Richards Building and Barn 6, but they will have to bring their own equipment.
Public response to the announcement has been mixed. A post relating the news on the Fairgrounds’ official Facebook page amassed more than 175 comments; some were grateful to have advance notice of the issue, and some people expressed frustration and a sense that fair officials had somehow been negligent by failing to have a backup plan. Others called the lack of rentals discriminatory. It should be noted, while the Fairgrounds are required by law to provide full access to their facilities, they are not legally bound to provide mobility equipment to its visitors.