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Maia Fitzstevens

Maia Fitzstevens

Multimedia intern, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)

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An amazing number of agricultural fairs are held throughout Massachusetts each summer. Most of them have been happening for over 100 years and are deeply rooted in the cultural history of the Commonwealth. The gorgeous Berkshire Mountains will be the backdrop to the 157th Annual Middlefield Fair, an old time country fair that was first established in 1855 as a cattle show. Each year, prizes are given to people of all ages with various skills and products. Events include a horse and oxen pull and a chili cook off. Agricultural producers will compete for prizes awarded for the best agricultural products, including hen eggs, fruits and vegetables, flowers, honey and more. There’s even a children’s essay prize.

You won’t want to miss the local, fun, friendly flair of the Hardwick Community Fair, which takes place August 17-18. In addition to being the oldest fair in the United States (it originated in 1762), this fair hosts unique events such as a 5-mile road race, a lumberjack contest, a frog jumping contest and a children’s parade! And it wouldn’t be a true Massachusetts fair if it didn’t showcase the best in local agriculture, which it does through displays of baked goods, vegetables and flowers that will compete for the illusive blue ribbon.

Photo credit: ctomt on flickr.com

The 95th Annual Heath Fair from August 17-19 will offer fun activities and opportunities to learn about agriculture. Last years’ program included square dances, a ham and bean supper, and even talks on the art of composting and urban agriculture, along with traditional fair events like a tractor pull.

Photo credit: bendystraw on flickr.com

In Southeast Massachusetts from August 17-26, be sure to visit the 145th Annual Marshfield Fair. Competitions will be held in 4-H, arts and crafts, and agricultural and horticultural events. Fair organizers hope that everyone who comes will have fun and leave with a greater sense of the importance of agriculture and horticulture in our society.

A copy of the 2012 Fairs Brochure is yours if you contact Ellen Hart at 617-626-1742 or email Ellen.hart@state.ma.us. Be sure to also check out the MassGrown interactive Google map for a complete listing of agricultural fairs in the Commonwealth. There’s sure to be one near you!

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