Country Fairs in Connecticut - 2013
August marks the start of fair season in Connecticut and visitors come from all over the country to enjoy traditional agricultural exhibits, animals, food, rides, games, handmade crafts and jewelry, and entertainment. A perfect family fun event, Connecticut fairs are a tradition that goes back over a century and we have collected a list of the major fall fairs, as determined by the Association of Connecticut Fairs, for you to pick from. If it’s a weekend in late summer through early October, you can bet there’s a fair to attend and, in Connecticut, the options are endless.
Connecticut goes country this season with a great line-up of up and coming country music headliners – all for the price of fair admission. The Brooklyn Fair, August 22-24, hosts Jana Kramer on Thursday, Jerrod Neiman on Friday and Greg Bates on Saturday. Thompson Square, the Academy of Country Music Vocal Duo of the Year, takes the main stage at the Woodstock Fair on September 1. The Hebron Harvest Festival hosts the hottest new country act, Florida-Georgia Line, September 8. The state’s largest agricultural fair, the Durham Fair, presents Justin Moore on September 27 and Josh Turner on September 28. October welcomes Craig Campbell to the Berlin Fair on October 5.
It would not be a complete visit to Connecticut in the fall without a weekend excursion to a Connecticut fair:
Brooklyn Fair – August 22-25
Oldest continuously active agricultural fair in the United States and one of Connecticut’s earliest in the season features draft horses, livestock shows, home and garden exhibits, live entertainment, historical displays, special daily events, midway and great food.
Woodstock Fair – August 30-September 2
Labor Day Weekend welcomes the most popular country fair in Connecticut and the state's second oldest agricultural fair featuring crafts, lots of food, livestock shows, petting zoo, free stage shows, midway, go-kart races, Better Living Center, vegetables, flowers, strolling entertainers, and main stage headliners including Thompson Square, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.
North Haven Fair - September 5-8
Be sure to catch the famous Rosie’s Racing Pigs – pick your favorite oinker and cheer as it races to beat the others in several shows throughout the fair. Enjoy live musical performances and great fair food.
Hebron Harvest Fair - September 5-8
Started as a small indoor fair in 1971, the Hebron Fair has grown to inhabit 100 acres on the Hebron Lions Fairgrounds, and is often a stop on the tours of many Nashville stars – Kenny Chesney has performed here, as well as Shenandoah. The country agricultural fair features a dog competition, monster trucks, animal displays, various food, animal pulls, truck pulls, country music, carnival midway, and something to do for the entire family.
Bethlehem Fair - September 6-8
For an old fashioned country fair chock full of competitions, shows and exhibits, head to the Bethlehem Fair. Catch the Agri-Olympics, a multi-event competition for all ages including cow milking, hay bale throwing, farm chores and egg toss, and grab a buffalo or goat burger along with all of the traditional fair food offerings.
Four Town Fair - Somers - September 12-15
One of Connecticut’s oldest fairs, the Four Town Fair was established in 1838, and features agricultural exhibits, competitions and displays, as well as a few unusual shows. We like the Frog Jumping Contest (for frogs, not people), the Women’s Skillet Throw, and the Doodlebug Pull.
Guilford Agricultural Fair - September 20-22
The Guilford Fair is part traditional fair, part circus, part Broadway theater. In addition to the midway rides, games and food, visitors can enjoy performances by the fair’s family circus, whose high wire acrobats (The Flying Wallendas) and live tiger and lion acts will wow spectators of all ages.
Orange Country Fair - September 21-22
From the classic car show, to a rock climbing wall, to tractor pulls, arts and crafts and animal displays, there is truly something for everyone at the Orange Country Fair. Start the day off with Chip’s Famous Pancake breakfast, and don’t miss the Two Person Hand Saw Contest and Toddler Driving Contest!
Durham Fair - September 26-29
For 92 years, the Durham Fair has been a must-do for families throughout Connecticut and beyond. The largest agricultural fair in the state was voted our Facebook Fan Favorite in past years, and it’s little surprise – visitors to the Durham Fair can find just about any fair food they can imagine. We love the fried dough and kettle corn, but other offerings include Cajun shrimp and jambalaya, Chipstix (deep-fried potato on a stick), turkey legs, pierogi, pad thai, fried oreos, souvlaki, apple fritters, steamed burgers, Jamaican patties, lobster fritters… bring your appetites.
Berlin Fair - October 4-6
The Berlin Fair began in 1882 as a Harvest Festival, became a state agricultural fair in the early 1900s, and remains a much-anticipated event in central Connecticut. A packed schedule includes pie-eating contests, frog jumping, large animal and crafts exhibits and live entertainment throughout the weekend.
Harwinton Fair - October 5 & 6
In its 154th year, the Harwinton Fair offers classic agricultural entertainment all day, with a lineup including marching bands, fiddlers, country groups and more, as well as demonstrations on pioneer cooking, blacksmithing, and other skills. Don’t miss the Rabbit Costume Contest (not what it sounds; it’s actually a costume contest for rabbits!)
Portland Fair - October 11-13
Signifying the close of fair season, the Portland Fair gives enthusiasts one last chance to experience all the classic fair entertainment, food, exhibits, animals and activities for the year. On Sunday morning, run in the Portland Fair 5k Road Race, or watch the action from the sidelines while enjoying a hot funnel cake.
Check out all our country fairs at www.CTAgFairs.org.
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