The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Labor Day weekend fun

Annual fair welcomes big crowds Saturday, events continue Monday

- By Emily M. Olson

HADDAM NECK — An eager public flocked to the Haddam Neck Fairground­s Saturday, with the fair making its return after two years’ hiatus because of the pandemic.

The fair, held by the Haddam Neck Grange, celebrates local agricultur­e and features farms and 4-H chapters from Middlesex County and other surroundin­g communitie­s. It also gives a nod to local businessse­s and civic organizati­ons, churches and nonprofit groups, all of whom have booths with informatio­n or a variety of wares for sale.

The Haddam Historical Society sold books and welcomed donations, while the Ladies Aid Society of the Haddam Neck Congregati­onal Church sold baked goods, homemade jam, raffle tickts for gift baskets and handmade clothing and gifts. Other churches sold their wellknown apple pies, preserves or hand-knit clothing for babies and children.

Earlier this week, the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped several inches of rain across the state, and a little mud remained at the fairground­s — mostly in the parking areas. But the fair opened Friday night with its traditiona­l tractor parade, garden and food entry judging and live music with karoke. Saturday, live music continued with Daphne Martin and Goodnight Blue Moon. More bands are scheduled all weekend.

The midway was filled with families lining up for rides, and the animal barns welcomed visitors to see sheep, goats and cows being washed or shorn, or resting up for their next competitio­n.

4-H Club members from Durham and nearby towns gathered with their cows, such as R.J. Martin with his cow, Clarinet. “I love her,” he said, as the cow let him snuggle for a moment. “She’s a good cow.”

The music from the midway was at times muted by roaring engines during the truck-pulling contests. In the livestock ring, a collection of dogs and their owners took part in an agility contest. The food court was filled with people eating everything from barbecued chicken to clam fritters, burgers or sausage and peppers.

Sunday’s events are scheduled to include an antique tractor pull, horse pulls, live music all day and a demolition derby.

On Monday, featured events are scheduled to include oxen and cattle pulls, a kids’ tractor pull and a four-by-four off-road event. The fair closes at 5 p.m. Monday.

For a full schedule and informatio­n, visit http://haddamneck­

 ?? Emily M. Olson / Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Altair Peri serves up cotton candy from her booth at the Haddam Neck Fair on Friday.
Emily M. Olson / Hearst Connecticu­t Media Altair Peri serves up cotton candy from her booth at the Haddam Neck Fair on Friday.

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