Country fairs abound in the villages of Vermont in the summer and early fall months. These fairs began as a way for the local farmers to showcase their produce and animals from which they earned their livelihood. Selecting their best vegetables, flowers, canned goods, maple syrup, hand crafted items, cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, and goats, they would travel to the village to gather with neighbors to encourage one another.
Over a hundred years later this same spirit and love of Vermont’s agricultural heritage continues as thousands descend upon the fair grounds throughout the state. While at the fair our family spends most of our time in the display buildings and barns. Vegetables line table after table. This year, I was most impressed with the largest zucchini, which weighed in at 40 pounds! My Cinderella pumpkin took the first place ribbon. The barns are always full. As you walk along the outside of the buildings cows will stick their head out the windows. The poultry house was full with hens of every color and size imaginable and a rooster crowed continuously from his high position in his cage.
Our favorite spot, I must admit, is the sugar shack where free samples of maple cotton candy are given out. The line for maple sundaes is always long but well worth the wait and the maple sugar candies are to die for. Clear bottles of golden syrup line shelves on the wall with blue first place ribbons hanging from them.
The various contests bring the most crowds. This year we missed the horse pulling contest where the huge work horses pull heavy blocks. It is amazing to watch their massive chests heave under the weight. The sheep dog trials were fantastic. The dogs maneuver the sheep through the obstacle course and finally penned them at the end of the run.
For four days the fair grounds bustle with activity bringing fair goers from many miles away. The fair seems mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall. We are fortunate to have such a fair only a few miles from our farm–The World’s Fair in Tunbridge, VT.