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The Day - Sound & Country - - FRONT PAGE -

rides (“With sing­ing, depend­ing on the driver,” Stephen­son says.). All of the coun­try school’s an­i­mal build­ings will be open to the pub­lic— in­clud­ing the ex­otic one, which Stephen­son de­scribes as the “creepy crawly build­ing.”

“It’s got snakes and all sorts of other things that I’m not re­ally into, but the kids love it,” she says.

The cen­ter of the farm is home to large an­i­mals, such as cows, don­keys, a mule and both mini-and reg­u­lar-sized horses. Dozens of ducks and geese also wan­der the prop­erty, which has three lakes and miles of trails.

“The day gives peo­ple a chance to see what we do,” says the di­rec­tor of the coun­try school, which pro­vides a home to many an­i­mals that are res­cued or can no longer be cared for by their own­ers.

Last year dur­ing the event, the Water­ford Po­lice Depart­ment per­formed finger­print­ing for the Safe Kids pro­gram, and the re­gional hu­mane so­ci­ety hosted a ta­ble pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion about an­i­mal adop­tion. Stephen­son says the so­ci­ety brought sev­eral an­i­mals with them to re­in­force the four-legged crea­tures’ need for new homes.

Food ven­dors are on hand, along with face paint­ing for kids, sing-a-longs and an­i­mal ex­hibits. Stephen­son usu­ally hangs out at the wel­come tent, where she can greet vis­i­tors and check in with them on their way out.

Along with the creepy crawly an­i­mals, she says vis­i­tors are typ­i­cally drawn to the school’s lla­mas. An al­paca named Peanut But­ter is a big hit.

Be­tween 400 and 500 peo­ple at­tend the day’s events, which or­ga­niz­ers be­gin plan­ning about two months in ad­vance.

“Af­ter 16 years, the lo­gis­tics are pretty easy,” says Stephen­son. “We love do­ing it and it shows be­cause it’s a fun event. We have peo­ple that come back year af­ter year.”

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