CUMMINGTON – In 1869, a hotel in Boston became the first to have indoor plumbing, Harper’s Weekly published the first picture of Uncle Sam with chin whiskers, inventor Cornelius Swarthout patented the first stove-top waffle iron and the Cummington Fair was born.
The 154th Cummington Fair ended on Sunday, proving again to thousands of fair-goers that it is what organizers proudly proclaim as “one of the best little fairs in the country.”
Work has already begun on next year’s fair, according to Kevin Hollister, vice president of the fair and the person who books the entertainment acts for the fair.
“It’s a small country fair but it packs a lot into it,” Hollister said Saturday. “It’s the best one around.”
The gates opened on Thursday afternoon with an antique engines and tractor show and closed Sunday with the Over 3,400 pound draft horse pull in the Pulling Arena.
“Everything is here,” Hollister said. “The agriculture, the food, the entertainment, the exhibits in the exhibit hall and 4-H hall. There’s ox pulls, horse pulls and kids are showing sheep … “
And there was even a square dance, with music by Doug Wilkens & the Fall String Band, in the Pavilion Saturday night.
Due to the threat of avian flu, there were no poultry shows this year. But fair organizers still had plenty to crow about.
In addition to the oxen and horse pulls, events included youth dairy judging, sheep obstacle course, demolition derby, youth lawn tractor pull, antique tractor parade, adult livestock judging, a petting barn, a Golden Wedding contest, a kids pedal tractor pull and more.
Entertainment included Magic by George, Dan the Pirate, the Shelburne Falls Military Band, Bryson Lang Comedy/Juggling, Sarah the Fiddler, Rosie Porter & the Neon Moons and Vyntyge Skynyrd.
“It’s fun,” Hollister said. “It’s a compact fair, it’s clean. There’s no craziness here. It’s just good, clean family fun.”
To learn more about the Hillside Agricultural Society, which runs the fair, go to cummingtonfair.com