There is Always Next Year
The Tunbridge Fair signifies the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Local farmers both young and old come to the fair to showcase the fruits of their labor. The day before the fair opens, cars pour in to the fair grounds all day with folks bringing their entries. Women with arms full of flowers, baked goods, and vegetables walk to the pavilions where they will be displayed. The men pull in with their trucks and trailers loaded with enormous pumpkins, and livestock. The barns begin to fill and the air smells of cows and fresh hay. Sheep baa from their stalls and roosters can be heard crowing from their cages.
Each person seems to experience the fair in their own way. Some like to hang out at the rides emptying their pockets for a chance to be spun around and around at high speeds. Others tour the food vendors sampling the fried dough, candy apples, cotton candy, pulled pork, and pretzels. Our family begins by touring the barns first looking at all of the sheep, goats, cows, pigs, and chickens. This year, we arrived just as the junior pig show was underway. The pigs did not seem interested in parading around the ring but much preferred to roll and dig in the grass.
Next, we meander through the craft and junior hall. We usually have most of our entries here. This year, we were so busy that we only had one entry-our needle felted mural from our summer camp. It impressed the judges earning a blue first place ribbon and a “best in show” ribbon!
I missed not having entered my zucchini relish and pickles or a knitted item. There will always be next year though. The pumpkin display was just as impressive as ever with gigantic pumpkins. I can’t even begin to imagine how they get them to grow so large.
Once we have toured all of the barns and entry halls, we make a bee line to the maple sugar shack. Truly there is nothing more delicious than their maple doughnuts, maple cremees, and maple cotton candy. We prefer purchasing from them because all of the proceeds go towards research for the Vermont maple sugar makers.
While enjoying our maple treats, we head over to the animal events. The horse pulling contest has always intrigued me. I am mesmerized by the massive animals and their strength. We only get a glimpse of the incredible power that these animals have.
We are pulled away from the horse contest by the bugle call at the Famous Pig Races! By the crowds gathered around the race track, it is obvious that the pig races take first place for being the most popular event at the fair. There perfectly normal people go wild cheering and yelling for their favored pig to cross the finish line first. The crowd’s cheering is contagious and soon I find myself swaying to the music and cheering, much to the dismay of my 16 year old daughter who is sitting beside me.
At 6pm on Sunday evening, the fair winds down and everyone begins packing up. A long line forms for those waiting to pick up their entries. Neighbors chat and compare their prizes as they wait in line. They talk about their summers, how their animals did in the competitions, and what they hope to enter next year. Next year, I am going to enter my zucchini relish.