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Editorial: Insight into county’s character

It’s fair time in Addison County. As of Tuesday, the amusement rides will be swirling, 4-Hers will begin showing their livestock, and competitors in events like armwrestling and iron-pan throwing will set the stage for five days of friendly competition, including tractor pulling contests and the always-fun Demolition Derby.
And those are just a few of the highlights.
Every day the Children’s Barnyard opens from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., as does the Antique Equipment Building and the 4-H and Youth Building. You watch demonstrations (and get sweets) at the famous Maple Sugar House throughout the day, and watch craft demos on a continuous basis in the Home and Garden Building, as well as tour the Lucien Paquette Exhibit Building. You can watch how cows are milked from 1 to 4 p.m. each day and laugh with the clowns and others at the Addison County Fair and Field Days site from Tuesday, Aug. 7, through next Saturday, Aug. 11.
Special events for each day, of course, are part of the Field Days tradition, ranging from 4-H events to high-rolling entertainment. The Western Only 4-H and Open Youth Junior Horse Show kicks off the week at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, followed by an Open Miniature Donkey Show at 10, and Tom Joyce (the Magic Man) at 11, as well as a Cupcake Party from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Horse shows and Rosie’s Racing Pigs, sheep shearing demonstrations and bingo are just some of the things on tap for the afternoon — part of the 19 separate events set for the day. Multiply that by five days and, well, you get the idea: There are tons of things to see and do.
Things not to miss, if it’s your first time to go in a while, are the Opening Parade at 8 p.m. on Tuesday (but go to the Vermont Products Dinner first and catch The Heaters in the Bandstand at 7 and the Addison County Gospel Choir at 6:30 p.m.); Karaoke Talent Night and The Panhandlers on Wednesday; the hand mowing contest on at 10 Thursday morning, and the Bracelet night for amusement rides that night and Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m., plus the Demolition Derby (Wednesday and Thursday, 7 p.m.), plus high-energy entertainment each evening on the bandstand starting at 8, including The Pilgrims on Thursday, Prydein on Friday, and a Tim McGraw impersonator (AllenasTim and the Dance Hall Rockers) on Saturday. The well-loved VTPA-VT V8 Minis, Single Engine Mod, Altered Farm, ProStock Farm and Semi-Tractor Trailer Pulls all take place on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 6 p.m., so don’t be late to get a seat for those exciting events.
But it’s more than just an exciting week at Field Days. After 64 years of providing family fun for the county each year, it has become part of the county’s culture.
The official program was inserted inside last Thursday’s issue of the Addison Independent featuring two young county children (a boy and girl) pushing and peddling a toy tractor with smiles and determination on their faces. That cover picture (and the hundreds of events that are listed in detail inside) sums up the week ahead well: It is wholesome fun and entertainment at its best, while offering a smorgasbord of farm and 4-H competitions and demonstration of skills that are truly reflective of this county’s unique charm and character. Without being a part of Field Days, even if it’s just a day’s visit, it’s hard to fully appreciate the county’s depth and historic connection to the farm and to the land. Don’t miss it.

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