Sunday, August 23, 2015

a fair day

Yesterday I visited the annual Hardwick Community Fair:
"The Oldest Fair in the United States"
est. 1762

For readers in some other parts of the world -
for readers in most other parts of the world! -
253 years is hardly ancient history.
But for the US, it's fairly old.
(See what I did there? Heh.)

And even in that long/short 253-year history,
the fair has not been held continuously.
Since 1762 - when, by the way, the residents of Massachusetts
still answered to the King of England - 
the Hardwick Fair has vanished several times.

Some interludes began with a major event.

The Revolutionary war...the Civil War...

but afterward, the gap sometimes stretched on for decades.

The fact that townspeople have stepped up
and reactivated the Fair,
over and over again,
is special, I think.

Physically, it's a small fair, held on the Town Common.
There are organized activities for children,
booths for local vendors, and traditional skills demonstrations.
Across the road, there's a long tent for dairy cattle.

I'm so happy there are still dairy cattle to be shown here.
In the past 30 years or so, this region has lost dairies
the same way it has lost small lumbermills:
in big, sad numbers.

People from many nearby towns enter the competitions.
Crosscut sawing. Sack races. Cakes and pies. Fun things.

Lots of beautiful produce: fruits, vegetables, eggs, herbs.

Food and flower displays in the Town Hall.

Sewing, knitting and other handcrafts in the church hall.

 And by some miracle, after a series of rainy days
that left the ground feeling like a squelchy sponge,
the sun shone yesterday
but the air was not terribly humid!
It was hot, but still refreshing.

Back to normal today, though - air like wet gauze.

And poor little Fern had a bellyache today.
I sat on a chaise in the barn and kept an eye on her
while picking out photographs for this post.
Very happy to report that I just came in from evening chores,
and though she is still a bit quiet,
Fern is definitely feeling better.
Thank goodness.
Now the new week can get off to a good start.
I hope it will be a great week for all of us :)

Just a reminder: 
I'll draw the winner of the crockpot cookbook giveaway
tomorrow at noon ET.
Still time to enter!
Good luck  :)