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There is a big fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds to help protect black bears

Visitors at the booth learn about black bears from volunteers from the Bear Education and Resource Group.
Visitors at the booth learn about black bears from volunteers from the Bear Education and Resource Group.
Angi Metler

Summer is a time for family fun at the fair where there are games, rides, food and entertainment. At the carnival, one can forget the worries of daily life and relax. Those who attend the Sussex County Fair will not only have a good time with family and friends, but they will also make a difference in their community since the Sussex County Fair is an event that is held to raise awareness about black bears, so they remain here in New Jersey for many generations to come.

Angi Metler, who is an activist for black bears, helps organize the fair with other members of the Bear Education and Resource Group. She said that the carnival has been going on for 10 years and tens of thousands of people attend the fair every year. Metler helps recruit volunteers who work at the fair from nine to twelve hours.

“Volunteers are very important for the fair because they educate people on how to coexist with black bears,” Metler said. “Volunteers have a booth and give people literature about black bears. They also take the time to listen to the stories of people’s experiences with black bears.”

According to Metler, all the money that the Bear Education and Resource Group raises at the fair is used to help save the black bears. She said that at the carnival unique items are sold such as bear tee-shirts for adults and children. She also said that there are special activities for children and seniors at the fair.

“Most people want to protect black bears and do not want them killed in the bear hunt,” she said. “The only way we can prevent the senseless slaughter of black bears is by passing the Bear Smart Bill. At the fair, we have collected over one thousand signatures supporting the Bear Smart Bill, and we still need many more.”

All of her life Metler has fought hard for the rights of black bears and will continue to do so. One of the highlights of her summer is organizing and volunteering at the fair where she has the chance to educate people about these mystical creatures. She has so much in common with those who attend the fair.

“I just love to see people who love black bears as much as I so,” she said.