It has been a popular event and a crowd gatherer at the Orleans County Fair but this year, it has been banned.

For years now, people have gathered at the Orleans County Fair to watch the greased pole event.  The idea is pretty simple.  You arrange a team of people and together you try to get one person to be able to touch the top of the pole.  Oh yeah...and the entire pole is greased up from the top to the bottom.  So it's very hard to hold on as  you climb.  What ends up happening is one person will stand at the bottom, then a person will climb up to the shoulders of the person on the ground.  Then others will climb up until they either get to the top or fall.

It does sound dangerous.

But according to Robert Batt, the executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, which runs the fair, in the history of the competition no one has ever needed first aid because of it.

That's not enough for the insurance company, however.  According to Orleans Hub, they are ending the popular competition

There is good news though if the fair ends up happening this year.  While it's not going to be the same as having big teams joining together for the greased pole competition, there will be a new one involving just two teammates where they will have to push a large round bale of hay around a course.

They are guessing that it might be easier to get people to sign up because you won't need as many people to make up a team, your clothes won't get ruined like they did on the greased pole, but it will still be a challenge to push the huge hay bale.

While I understand why an insurance company wouldn't want to cover something that has the potential to be dangerous like that, it's really sad to see traditions go by the wayside.


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