Topsfield Fair is a New England tradition that has been running annually since 1818, with an exception for a few years of interruption during the Civil War and WWII.
On Friday the 30th, at 1PM, it opened its gates for the 186th time, and I was there with my boys.
Opening Friday is a great time to go if you're ever visiting.
Too early in the day to speak of any crowds.
No lines or obstructions.
They didn't even charge us the $10 for parking.
Nice, because it cost $30 for the three of us to enter the fair.
We started out with our favorite part of the fair... the animals.
Some hairy sheep.
Or, is it a toupee?
A beautiful draft horse enjoying some green grass
outside the Fruit and Vegetable Exhibit.
The horse looks so muscular and strong,
and I like their hairy hooves.
My son said it looks like they have boots on.
Yeah, maybe, like those furry boots people have in the Alps.
To the inside of the Fruit and Vegetable Exhibit.
Above is the "Best Home Garden Display".
Those are some large pumpkins!
But, what's in the bucket?
That's not sage, is it?
Moving on to flowers.
My favorite part of the Flower Exhibit was the Dahlia displays.
Below is one of several.
The blue glass bottles looked especially nice with the orange toned Dahlias.
Nice to see the wide range of size, petals, and colors displayed like this.
The boys and I also spent a little bit of time in the
Look at the range of color in the honey jars!
From light, almost citrusy yellow colored honey,
to a very dark, amber color.
I wish I could have sampled them.
Volunteers from the crowd get to race mallard ducks.
Kind of fun, but over before you know it.
Besides, they were from New Mexico where duck racing,
according to the announcer, is very common.
I guess there was a pig race too,
but we missed that one.
Not particularly New England:ish, more Texan, I'd say.
Here's a part of the fair that we covered quickly, the carnival.
The workers at the attractions don't spare any tricks to lure your children in.
I was close to picking a fight (well, perhaps more of an argument)
with a worker
about their sneaky methods at the balloon and dart stand.
But, I figured it wasn't worth it, and we left.
The boys did try a couple of the games.
But the games are over quickly, cost a lot,
and the prices are so tacky,
that they soon wanted to leave this area.
There's no mistaking that food is a big part of any fair or carnival.
Topsfield is no exception.
and the smell of fried foods lie like a heavy blanket across the fair ground.
Okay while you're hungry, but then it becomes almost nauseating.
Although dogs are prohibited from entering the fair,
there was some fun and fancy food to purchase and bring home to your pooch.
Does a dog really care though, what the food looks like?
I think this dog food mostly entertain the owner.
they were AWESOME!!!
We really enjoyed their performance.
Their tricks were high flying and fantastic.
I don't think I was the only mom
that gasped and held my breath a few times.
but NOT least...
The Big Pumpkin Weigh Off
is what I came for.
This trip wouldn't have been complete
If I hadn't gotten to see these fantastic, giant pumpkins.
All in all, a fairly fun visit.
But, I think, to enjoy it more next time, I need to let go of my romanticized images of what an agricultural fair should be like. In my mind I see an agricultural fair the way it might have been about 50 years ago. Less commercialized, more genuine, and more... agricultural.