Sunday, October 2, 2011

Topsfield Fair

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.

And some naked sheep.

We watched sheep being sheared both the old fashion way with sheers,
and with electric clipper shears.

Here's a cow with cute curly bangs.
Or, is it a toupee?

An alpaca with a cute nose.

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.

Moving on...

To the inside of the Fruit and Vegetable Exhibit.
Above is the "Best Home Garden Display".

Those are some large pumpkins!

Very nice "Ribbon Worthy" produce.
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
Beekeeping house.

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.

My son got to make his own beeswax candle (for a $1).
And if you'd rather buy them, you could have done that too.

Here is the duck race.
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.

Hand carved Welcome signs, anyone?

Or how about a cowboy hat?

With a pair of cowboy boots?
Not particularly New England:ish, more Texan, I'd say.

Here's a part of the fair that we covered quickly, the carnival.

It was actually a bit of a turn off walking through this part.
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.

All kinds of food options line the paths to every exhibit,
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.

I seriously don't know how these bmx guys fit in to the agricultural theme.

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

This, my friends, this...
is what I came for.
This trip wouldn't have been complete
If I hadn't gotten to see these fantastic, giant pumpkins.

This year's winning pumpkin, announced last night, weighed 1,668.5 lbs,
and was grown by Mr. DeNigris and Mr. Moore of Gloucester.

Congratulations to the two of you!

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.


  1. Trots dina förbehåll, ser det ut som det är rätt kul. Fast jag känner igen känslan och det är samma sak här minsta lilla festival eller mässa så finns det en billion olika saker att köpa, och en hel del av det har väldigt lite med det det egentligen handlar om att göra. Häftigt med alla de gigantiska pumporna och männen som ser små ut bredvid. De små pumporna ser så fina ut. I år har jag sämsta pumpaåret någonsin, de har regnat bort.
    kram Sophia

  2. Tack för en trevlig stund känns som om jag varit där oxå!
    KRAM från mig!

  3. Duck racing in new Mexico? But we don't have any water! Hmmm I will let you know if I ever see that. Looks like fun! We avoided our state fair. As my friend says... The fair is as much fun as $60 per hour can buy!

  4. I love the fairs this time of the year with all of the goodies. We have the Pumpkin Show here this month where they have the pumpkin weigh in. That was a big one you all had. Seeing an Alpaca at the fair seems unusual. LOL! The Beeswax candles are just so pretty. Fun time.

  5. Our agricultural show is held in a few weeks time. I love seeing the cute animals too but I'm blown away by the size of the pumpkins on your photos. I am trying to grow one this year. We will see what happens :)

  6. Himmel vilka pumpor - jag trodde inte de kunde bli sååå gigantiska! Det ser ut som en mysig marknad men jag känner igen den där känslan av att det har blivit lite för mycket skräpkommers. En marknad jag verkligen skulle vilja besöka är den under medeltidsveckan på Gotland, men tänk om man kommer dit och det står nasare och försöker sälja på en frysbyttor i plast och palmbladskorgar från Taiwan... så besviken man hade blivit!

  7. Vilka gigantiska pumpor. Har aldrig sett något liknande. Tänka att karva i en sån till Hallowen! Hälsningar Christina

  8. Hej Annelie!

    Här har det hänt grejer sen sist. Vad förvånad jag blev, för en sekund trodde jag att jag kommit till fel blogg ;) Marknaden ser fin ut. Hade gärna velat se dessa gigantiska pumpor och smakat på honungen! Synd att de inte håller sig till temat rakt igenom. Det borde väl inte vara så svårt egentligen tycker man. Själv är jag rätt trött på dessa tivolin som alltid är dyra, skraltiga och över på ett par sekunder. Har mer eller mindre förbjudit mina barn att åka attraktionerna. Hård morsa va? ;)

    Nu ska jag strax iväg på match med dotterns innebandylag. Tack för din krya-på-dig hälsning. Jag känner mig bättre men får ta en dag i taget.

    Ha en skön helg!
    Kram Sanna

  9. Jag har varit in här flera gånger och kikat, och alltid känt hur jag bokstavligen tappat hakan varje gång jag kommit till pumpa-bilderna! Helt otroligt! Only in America, liksom... :-)

    Dina bilder ger en härlig känsla av hela spektaklet, både de mysigare och de mer "tacky" delarna, och det känns lite som nedslag i det äktamerikanska som man upplever det på film. Kan tänka mig att det fanns mycket fint att se, även om fairground-delen låter mindre spännande... Och som du sade hade det nog varit bortkastad energi att ge sig in i en diskussion med den trägne "inkastaren" vid ballong- och pilståndet.

    Stor kram från den engelska myllan, höstdoftande och regnvåt...



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