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Fairs and Field Days

Published August 1, 2011 at 4:00 a.m.

Vermont's fairs and field days are an easy way to entertain your family. These outdoor events show off the best of the state's summer produce and farm animals, and they even offer opportunities for friendly competition. A field-day visit is also the perfect time to teach kids about Vermont's agricultural history — especially since there's usually cotton candy on hand to sweeten the lesson.

Addison County Fair & Field Days

1790 Field Days Road, New Haven
Tuesday, August 9, through Saturday, August 13

Addison County's field days are billed as Vermont's largest ag fair. The big-time fun includes a barnyard for pint-size animal lovers, arm wrestling for kids and adults, lots of exhibits, entertainment, a parade, pulling competitions, rides, crafts, and 4-H shows. For the little ones, there's also a magician, puppet shows, pig racing, a pedal-tractor pull, a demolition derby and a closing fireworks display.

Orleans County Fair

278 Roaring Brook Road, Barton
Wednesday, August 17, through Sunday, August 21

An old-time agricultural fair with horse shows, pulls, and harness racing; gymkhana; dairy cattle and ox shows, milking parlor demonstrations; sheep shows; a petting zoo; and poultry, rabbit and alpaca exhibits. Other agricultural tie-ins include a horticulture display, arts and crafts, wool spinning, and a farm machinery display. A demolition derby and 4x4 truck pull take place in the evening.

Deerfield Valley Farmers' Day fair

Beaver Street, Wilmington
Thursday, August 18, through Sunday, August 21

This fair is a long-standing local tradition, with neighborly competition, agriculture education and entertainment. This year's events include a children's lawn-mower pull, a watermelon-seed-spitting contest, a scavenger hunt, a children's barnyard and petting area, a "pee-wee" midway, a cattle show, the farmer-for-a-day, horse pulling, car and craft shows, and a pie-eating contest.

Caledonia County Fair

Wednesday, August 24, through Sunday, August 28
1 Fairgrounds Road, Lyndonville

One of Vermont's oldest, the Caledonia County Fair offers a children's tent with ongoing activities as well as a children's barnyard and other kid-friendly fun. There's also a mini-midway, a traveling bear show, an escape artist, a thrill show, 4-H exhibits, horse shows, horse, pony and ox pulling, animal exhibits, a floral hall, craft exhibits, and a redneck competition.

Bondville Fair

350 Route 30, Bondville
Friday, August 26, through Sunday, August 28

The first Bondville Fair was held in 1797, a year after the town of Winhall's incorporation. This long-standing community competition includes traditional animal- and tractor-pulling events, as well as a kids' tractor-pull contest, live music, clogging, a quilt show, farm animals for petting, midway rides, kids' games, and a children's pet show.

Champlain Valley Fair

105 Pearl Street, Essex Junction
Saturday, August 27, through Monday, September 5

Enjoy an array of concessions and rides on Vermont's largest fair midway. Multiple classes of horse pulls over various distances occur in the pulling ring, 4-H competitions and shows take place on the grandstand. Free daily entertainment includes a 5 p.m. parade, as well as pig racing, dog-agility demonstrations, hypnotist shows, jugglers, circus acts and a large-scale sand sculpture.

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This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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