The Deerfield Fair, in Deerfield, N.H., is celebrating its impressive 133d year this coming weekend, Oct. 1-4. I'd say progress is starting with a dozen oxen and some old school agriculture, and growing it into the oldest and one of the largest New England family fairs. I've written before in this blog that I am a proud, veteran Deerfield Fair-goer. I have been going to the fair for more than 30 years now, and can offer these tips for a successful trip:
1. Leave at the crack of dawn. Gates open at 8 a.m., so be there between 7-8 a.m. to ensure no admission line, no wait to park, and no parking miles away. By getting there early you will also miss the MILES and MILES of backed-up traffic to get into the fair.
2. If you have kids, and they plan to take the midway rides, do that first. The crowds around the rides get crazy, and who wants to spend their day this way? If there is time later, go back. But get that angst over with.
2a. Friday and Sunday are wrist bands days which means for $20 your kid can ride as much as they want all day. This is the way to go if you've got thrill-seekers on board.
3. Look at the map online, figure out what is most important to you, and get there early. I like the pigs and sheep. So if I don't want to fight to see them, we head there first. If I like the ox pull, I get there early, and so on.
4. The ATM is not convenient. Bring cash.
5. Donuts the size of your head are available when you arrive early. Hand-made heaven. One donut fills your yearly quota of this treat. Lines go 50 deep easy, so again, mark your map and be efficient!
As for everything else, it's the regular fair stuff going on, but in mass quantities. The Deerfield Fair has it all. Take a peek online and see for yourself. Heed my warning about the traffic. I have known people to think it won't be "that bad," they leave at 10 a.m. and don't see the inside of the gates for hours on end. This fair stuff .... is serious stuff, ya know.
Photo courtesy Kimberly Sherman