2004 Summer and Fall Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com LITCHFIELD, CT-Country fairs will be in high gear all over Northwest Connecticut from late July to mid-October, continuing a tradition that is almost as old as the harvest season itself. These gala events give farmers a chance to show off their best crops and livestock, allow homemakers to exhibit their prize flowers, baking and canning, and offer everyone a helping of wholesome, old-fashioned country fun. Midway rides and musical entertainment share billing with spirited contests, from racing pigs to oxen pulls where teams compete to see how far they can haul enormous weights. The biggest treat for many city and suburban youngsters is the opportunity to see farm animals they've known only in storybooks. While all fairs include judging of prize sheep, cows, pigs and goats, and traditional competitions, western horseshows, and many traditional competitions such as tractor, pony and ox pulls, each event has its own unique attractions. The season begins with the Connecticut Agricultural Fair at the Goshen Fairgrounds July 23 to 25, sponsored by the Connecticut State Grange. This fair features three crowd pleasers, an antique tractor and garden tractor pull, a giant book sale under the big tent and an auction with items donated from granges all over the state. Entertainment includes several country music and blues bands, the Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers and singers Lance and Larry Hoppen who were formerly with the 70's super group Orleans. The Bridgewater Country Fair coming up on August 20 to 22 on Main Street, Bridgewater, was begun by the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department back in 1952 and remains a local affair, run by 1000 volunteers and with Fire Department members cooking and serving up food for the crowds. Two favorite events here are the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and Robinson's Racing Pigs. Kids are part of the show, with their own Junior Dairy Show and a children's pet parade. That same weekend, August 20 to 22, the Wolcott Lions Agricultural Fair will take place on Route 69 in Wolcott. Begun 35 years ago, the fair includes a display of antique farming equipment to teach about farming traditions. Kiddie tractor pulls, model car racing, racing pigs and pro wrestling and fireworks are other lures, and there will be pony rides and a petting zoo for children. Back at the Goshen Fairgrounds, the Goshen Agricultural Society Fair, set for September 4 to 6, has been a tradition for 92 years. A perennial favorite here is the wood-chopping competition, where entrants vie to see who can make the chips fly fastest. Western and English Horse shows are also popular events, and a baking contest for men is a unique feature. From September 10 to 12, the 80th annual Bethlehem Fair at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds on route 61 will offer two stages of entertainment, a horse show and Gymkhana, a hollerin' contest, a scarecrow contest, and a Mother Goose barnyard for little ones. The 56th annual Terryville Country Fair at the fairgrounds on Scott Road, off Route 6, swings into action September 17 to 19 with wood chopping, horse pulling, and an antique tractor pull. Children's contests and games guarantee family fun. The last of the major fairs, the Harwinton Fair October 2 and 3, is the granddaddy of them all, nearing its 150th birthday. This year's special attractions include English and Western horse shows, entertainment that includes old time fiddling, and Early Americana on the midway featuring a Country Store, a working blacksmith shop and demonstrations of a variety of old time crafts. A children's stage with special entertainment and an "animal friends" barn will please little ones. The fair takes place on Locust Road, off Route 4. Local fairs are also fun outings for families. On the docket are the Prospect Grange Fair August 14, Litchfield Grange Fair August 21, Riverton Grange Fair September 11, Beacon Grange Fair in Northfield September 26, and the Riverton Fair, a district fair with many attractions, October 8 to 10. For more information on fairs and a new free guide to the region, including lodging, attractions and maps, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, 800-663-1273, or visit their website at Northwest Connecticut