Deerfield Fair again proves to be a real draw

By MELISSA PROULX
Sunday News Correspondent
October 01. 2017 12:38AM
A curious cow does some modeling for the camera during a quick hair-styling appointment Saturday at the Deerfield Fair. (Melissa Proulx/Sunday News Correspondent)

DEERFIELD - Thousands came out for the Deerfield Fair on Saturday as vehicles slowly snaked into the area to park and unload for a day of family fun.

Each year, the fair is full of animal demonstrations, competitions, food, amusement rides and live music.

The fair wraps up this evening.

On Saturday, the cold and rain did little to diminish the number of visitors to the 141st annual event.

Traffic stretched from the front gate on Route 43 for two miles down Raymond Road. Hundreds waited in line to get into the fairgrounds.

"We couldn't be happier," said Richard Pitman, vice president and spokesman for the fair. "It's been fantastic."

For more than a century, the fair has been a great draw for the community and a vital resource for Deerfield. Besides being one of the biggest money makers for the town, the fair affords the opportunity to showcase the work of New Hampshire residents.

Whether it's those who help run the show or the food and craft vendors whose wares are on display, most everyone is from the Granite State. And different generations continue to work there.

"We try to keep it local," he said. "We try to keep it (within) families."

Maintaining and improving the facilities is a priority that's helped to enable its success. Six acres were developed for added space for animals like sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas.

"We reinvested big on this," Pitman said.

This is something farmers have noticed overall, not just with the new buildings.

"The fair's done a good job with the upkeep," said Roger Metcalf, one of the owners of Elm Terrace Farm in Pittsfield.

Metcalf said he has attended the fair since he was a child; his parents began showing their dairy cows more than 50 years ago.

One of his favorite parts of the fair is the opportunity for kids not yet old enough to take part in 4H - like his own nieces and nephews - to show some of their animals in special events.

"This is a good thing for the kids at the fair," he said.

Patty Difilippo, who was working in one of the many Dudley's Ice Cream vendor stands, said that she always enjoys talking with all the fairgoers.

"I have a lot of repeat customers and they're very nice to me," she said.

She said that the turnout, despite the weather, is indicative of the health of not just the Deerfield Fair, but others in the state.

Difilippo said she just went to the Hopkinton Fair a few weeks ago, and that turnout seemed just as busy.

"I believe that New Hampshire fairs are doing well," Difilippo said.
Performer Wayne from Maine had a full audience on Saturday, despite the drizzle. (Melissa Proulx/Sunday News Correspondent)


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