Summer 2005

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

It's a custom almost as old as the harvest season itself. Country fairs are a treasured tradition in many of the beautiful rural towns in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut. From late July to mid-October, they allow farmers to show off their best crops and livestock while homemakers exhibit their own prize flowers, baking and canning. The fair attractions have grown to offer non-stop fun for visitors. Midway rides and major musical entertainment share billing with old-fashioned country contests, from racing pigs to spirited oxen pulls where teams compete to see how far they can haul enormous weights. But the biggest treat for many city and suburban youngsters remains the opportunity to see farm animals they may have known only in storybooks. All the fairs include judging of prize sheep, cows, pigs and goats, and farm competitions such as tractor pony and ox pulls, but each event also has its own unique attractions. The season begins with the Connecticut Agricultural Fair at the Goshen Fairgrounds July 29 to 31, sponsored by the Connecticut State Grange. The Goshen Fair features entertainment galore, from folk to rock to acoustic music and magic shows to please audiences of all ages. The line-up includes Marshall Crenshaw Anita Cochran, the Thunder Road Board, stoned Acoustic, and folk singer James Lee Stanley. Line Dancing workshops are popular, letting everyone join in on the fun. The Bridgewater Country Fair coming up on August 19 to 21 on Route 133 in 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. The fun begins with the Fireman's Parade down Main Street on Friday night. Two favorite events here are the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and Border Collie Herding demonstrations. Kids get into the act with their own Pedal Tractor Pull competition for ages 10 and under. Special entertainment this year will include the Star Family Circus and Thrill Show, Karate demonstrations and the cast of Beatlemania. That same weekend, August 19 to 21, the big Wolcott Country Fair will take place on the Frisbie School Fairgrounds Route 69 in Wolcott. The fair's highlights include Robinson's Racing Pigs, kiddie tractor pulls, model car racing, pro wrestling and Sunday fireworks and there will be a pony rides and a petting zoo for children. The entertainment will feature Changes in Latitude, a Jimmy Buffett style band; Big Shot, a Billy Joel Tribute Band; and the singer Carrie. Back at the Goshen Fairgrounds, the Goshen Agricultural Society Fair, set for September 3 to 5, has been a tradition for over 90 years. A perennial favorite here is the wood chopping competition, where entrants vie to see who can make the chips fly fastest. Magician Peter White, jugglers and Chuckles the Clown will delight families, while the variety musical line-up includes the Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers, the Northwestern Concert Band, the Cobblestone Road Band, and the Stone Canyon Band. From September 9 to 11, the 81st annual Bethlehem Fair at the Bethlehem Fairgrounds on Route 61 will offer two stages of entertainment, and performances by the USA Martial Arts Demonstration team, the First Church of Bethlehem Bell Choir and Sylvia Markson, Puppet Master. The Hollerin Contest and Lumberjack Competition are perennial favorites. The 57th annual Terryville Country Fair at the fairgrounds on Scott Road, off Route 6, swings into action September 16 to 18 with English and Western horse shows, a scare crow contest, wood-chipping, horse pulling, and an antique tractor pull. The last of the major fairs, the Harwinton Fair October 1 and 2 is the granddaddy of them all, established in 1853. This year's attractions include 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 Litchfield Grange Fair August 13, Riverton Grange Fair September 10, and Beacon Grand Fair Association in Northfield September 25, and the Riverton Fair, a district fair with many attractions, October 7 to 9. For more information on fairs and other nearby attractions, and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area contact Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, call 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.