Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The New England Agricultural Fair - Photos by My Father

Photos by My Father
Growing up, local agricultural fairs were as much an event as Christmas.  Almost everyone in town went, from our private schools who had booths to those who seemingly only emerged once or twice a year.  So it was one of those lovely cross-sections.  

We would go as a family, and set up our home base with blankets, always the same time and place.  We each had favorite events, and of course loved all of the animals.  (The mangers were real.)   Relatives and friends knew where to find us each year to catch up, sometimes for hours. Less than healthful food was everywhere.  We knew year after year who had the good pies, or best sandwiches and we would plan what order to hit which booths to avoid the lines.  Some important charities made their operating budgets for the year at these events.  

And few pined for snow on Christmas day as deeply as I for cool, crisp, dry Autumn days on fair weekends.  




  1. We went to the county fair this past weekend. Great showing by the 4H kids. Nice to see teenagers doing something other than debasing themselves on TikTok.

  2. I have vivid memories of visiting the state fair with my father in the 1950s. The animals were more interesting than anything, even more so than the carnival that was part of the fair. The fair was held in August, and I suppose still is. For some reason, I especially remember large fans in the big sheds where the cattle and horses were kept. The sheds were cooler, and the fans made a droning background noise. There were strange looking chickens and rabbits in another shed, 4H and FFA projects on display in another one, and farm machinery galore. There was even a parade of the farm equipment with very flowery descriptions preceding the stage show in the evening. We wouldn't get back home until after midnight. Don't remember seeing any yoked oxen, though, and there was no English-style riding or any riding for that matter, but there was horse racing.

  3. What wonderful photos! Thank you for the great memories!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these, Muffy! They bring back memories of the Horse & Pony show we used to attend annually when we lived in Maryland.

  5. My mom volunteered in the Topsfield flower barn for years - retirement goals!

    1. Topsfield coming up soon! We told the kids that the breast feeding building was an exhibit one year....good times ;)