Starting the fair off with a splash

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:44

Augusta — Beulah arrived at the Sussex County NJ State fairgrounds on Thursday, Aug. 4 but instead of her regular swim in the pond as she has done for the past 15 years, she got a power wash. Owner Tim Commerford said each year the elephant goes out farther and farther into the pond and last year she had some trouble getting out. That, along with concerns about the cables and pipes to the pump in the pond becoming a hazard if she got too close to them, have led to a new take on the elephant's pre-fair show. Beulah's fans now have a new tradition to follow. It takes about two and a half hours to get to the fairgrounds from their home in Goshen, Conn., and Beulah looks forward to her cleaning. At her home she gets regular power washes, set at 1,000 PSI, using cooler water in the summer and heating the water to 88 degrees for early spring and late fall cleanings. On Thursday, Beulah celebrated her 43rd birthday. Her birthday cake consisted of the regular fruits and vegetables along with a special treat — a few gallons of red Kool Aid and some jumbo Jet Puffed marshmallows, which were provided by a visitor. The Commerfords got Beulah one month after their son Tim was born and she has been in the fair for 39 years. Fans were asked to guess her weight, which was revealed to be 12,800-plus. How does she get weighed? At the truck stop scales of course. Along with the festivities for the afternoon were face painting, pictures with a Beulah cutout, a fresh lemon aid stand and free give-aways. — Gale Miko