Adams Agricultural Fair: Event just gets better with age
ADAMS - Some people involved with Adams Agricultural Fair, which began Thursday and hit the home stretch with a head of steam Saturday night, go way back.
Town Selectman Joseph Nowak is one of those. The 61-year-old cofounded the 39-year-old fair at 22, and Saturday he said its future looks as healthy as the greens in the barn house.
"My theory is that the old things are coming back," Nowak said. "People are yearning for the past and that's what something like the fair can afford them."
The fair provided nonstop entertainment and attractions Saturday.
Livestock of all sorts, rescued reptiles, birds of prey, magic, a Jeep obstacle course competitors braved during the event, Zumbo, Native American drumming, knife throwing, beekeepers, farmers and rock 'n' roll - to name a few things - all were found at the Bowe Field fairgrounds off Route 8.
It also attracted big crowds, prompting organizers to concur with Nowak's prediction.
"My impression is this is one of the best fairs we've ever had," said organizer Elizabeth Randall. "I've been seeing new faces all day."
These included vendors and exhibitors. Organizer Barbara Bennett said some came from places like Ludlow, Westfield, Pepperell, Colrain, Indian Orchard, Huntington and Warrington, Pa.
New participant Daniel Epe, a 7-year-old from Pittsfield, received special attention for his "magnificent" gardening abilities.
Marge Smith, another new participant, marketed her locally harvested maple syrup at the fair.
"My very first fair has been a good experience," Smith said.
Smith operates Maple Knoll Farm in Rowe with her husband, Floyd. The two have 1,200 tapped trees and want to expand by as many as 8,000.
They've also expanded into grass-fed beef jerky, sausage and bacon. Smith said a marriage of the two treats is in the works.
"We are trying to perfect a jerky recipe with maple in it," she said.
Tom Riccardi's birds of prey show drew crowds, along with reptile specialist Rhonda Leavitt's stand, where the New Lebanon, N.Y., resident showed kids how to properly tend to cold-blooded critters.
Today at the fair, anticipated events include youth sheep and goat judging at 10 a.m., the oxen pull at 11 a.m., the always-popular demolition derby at 2 p.m. and awards ceremony under the main tent at 4:30 p.m.
Organizer Patricia Wojcik shed light on the fair's educational emphasis. Members of Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association manned a tent providing information all day.
Wojcik said aspiring gardners, beekeepers and beer and wine makers come to learn, and learn they do.
"I think people are curious," Wojcik said. "They come here and see what they can do for themselves."
The winner of the Battle of the Bands on Friday was Object of Hatred. On Saturday, Noelle Dravis, 7, of Williamstown and Spencer Boucher, 6, of North Adams won fair princess and prince honors.
To reach Phil Demers: firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 464-1527. On Twitter: @BE_PhilD
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