Champlain Valley Expo Monitors Noise

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 08/14 2014 06:38PM

Updated 08/14 2014 06:39PM

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt.- The fairground is smack dab in the middle of Essex Junction. Each year the fair draws huge crowds and with that many people comes extra noise.

So while you might not know it, fair organizers are constantly monitoring just how loud that noise is.

Lorraine Garrison says she loves the Champlain Valley Fair.

“My favorite thing is the blooming onion they have over there, and play a few games,” said Garrison.

Although she can't usually make it to the concerts Garrison says that's okay because she can hear the music from her home more than a mile away from the fairgrounds.

“We can hear some of the concerts that are going on, the music. I don't mind it, I love it,” said Garrison.

But others don't feel that way.

So in order to keep the noise levels at a minimum the Village of Essex Junction created a noise ordinance back in 2000. The ordinance sets the standard day crowd noise at 68 decibels.

“We apply for a special permit for the concert so we can be a little bit louder than that. And it's measure in two ways, both as a five minute spike and as a one hour average,” said Chris Ashby, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Champlain Valley Expo.

If an event is too loud the village can impose a fine. But village leaders say that hasn't happened for quite some time. The last fine was in 2008 when Elton John performed at the fairgrounds, the expo was fined 11 thousand dollars.

“When an artist stops to talk to the audience and have a little bit of a conversation typically the sound level will drop slightly, it helps with that average number. Because Elton John didn't stop talk like that during his show quite as much as a lot of artists do the average ended up being slightly high,” said Ashby.

While organizers say it's pretty easy to comply with the ordinance, some people aren't too concerned with the noise.

“I think it’s okay,” said Garrison.

There is an independent sound engineer who is hired through the village to measure the sound throughout the events. That contractor then reports the sound levels back to the village and to the fairgrounds.

In case you were wondering where that 11 thousand dollars in fines goes; it goes into the village’s bank account.

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