Say Hello to Fall in New England with Fair Season
September brings the smell of fried dough, the sights of 4H animals, and crisp days outdoors – in other words, it’s fair season! Agricultural fairs are a long-standing tradition in New England. While you can still see cows, chickens, and ox pulls, you can also brave the carnival rides, shop local vendors, eat delicious food, and see demolition derbies. Here are some of the can’t-miss fairs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts that are coming up this fall:
When: August 31- September 3, 2018
Where: 516 Main Street, Lancaster, NH
Head north of the Notch to experience this classic fair that started way back in 1902. Check out classic cars during the annual cruise night; watch drivers from as far away as New Jersey and Canada put their motors to the test in the tractor pull; and give your kids the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a farmer for a day. The fair also offers camping so you can make it a full weekend of North Country fun.
When: August 31-September 3, 2018
Where: 392 Kearsarge Ave., Contocook, NH
Held every Labor Day, the Hopkinton State Fair started over 100 years ago, in 1915. Today it features livestock shows, pulling competitions, and a demolition derby in addition to fair food and a midway. The Grange Hall offers competitive displays, including the Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off, and the Morrill Family Farm Museum allows you to take a step back in time and learn what farm life used to be like.
When: September 6-16, 2018
Where: 72 Lafayette Street, Rochester, NH
After financial problems caused the fair to close last year, the Seacoast area staple has been resurrected for 2018 and spans two weekends. All of the fair’s classic events, including the Miss Rochester Fair pageant, school bus and demolition derbies, midway rides, and photography, art, and craft exhibits will all be back this year.
When: September 14-30
Where: 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, Massachusetts
The E in this fair’s name might as well stand for “everything,” because this two-week fair has every type of event you could hope for. In addition to dairy judging, a creative arts section, and agricultural shows, there are car shows, midway rides, daily parades, and a full concert lineup that includes big-name acts like The Beach Boys, Ice-T, and Hanson. Don’t miss the giant butter sculpture, an annual tradition where sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton transform 600 pounds of butter into a work of art.
When: September 27-30, 2018
Where: 34 Stage Road, Deerfield, NH
The Deerfield Fair is marking its 142nd year and offers all of the traditional fair events like horse pulls, 4-H shows, a pumpkin weigh-off, sheep shearing, and pig scrambles. Check out the stages for family entertainment and live music, and as always there are rides for all ages.
When: September 28-October 8, 2018
Where: 207 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA
This year the Topsfield Fair will be celebrating its 200th anniversary, making it the oldest agricultural fair in the country. Highlights include the monster truck freestyle and demolition derby, pig racing, a giant pumpkin weigh-off, the human cannonball and a hot dog eating contest. There will also be live music, including appearances from country musicians The Charlie Daniels Band, Sara Evans, and Martina McBride.
When: October 6-8, 2018
Where: 7 Wentworth Hill Road – Route 109 North, Center Sandwich, NH
Nestled between the White Mountain National Forest and the Lakes Region, Sandwich holds its annual fair every Columbus Day weekend. In addition to 4H and livestock shows, locals can test their strength in the gentlemen’s keg toss and the women’s skillet toss. There is also a craft building, fiber arts, and a farmers’ market.