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Local Fair Tops off Another Successful Year. By Kristen Micho

Despite the heavy rain fall this past week, the weekend sunshine brought America’s oldest agricultural fair to another successful season. The Topsfied Fair has been attracting Essex County locals and other surrounding New England residents since 1818.  Families and friends wait in hours of backed up traffic for parking all because of the excitement, food, and fun this fair breeds.

Like most fairs, you are able to find your cotton candy, fried dough, frozen lemonade, and all of the other favorite fair food vendors.  The Topsfield Fair is unique, as it brings in local businesses such as the delicious Captain Dusty’s ice cream from Beverly Farms and mouth watering Winfrey’s Fudge from Rowley.  Given that it is the fall season, most visitors come to enjoy the taste of fall.  A 31 year old Danver’s resident, Kelly Watts, has been coming to the Fair since she was 9 years old and never leaves without getting a fix of the apple crisp or the apple donuts.  “I try and bring someone new each year to the Fair” says Watts.  She wants people to get the same positive experience that she has gotten throughout the past 20 years.

The Topsfield Fair is well respected for the sole reason of why the Fair even began; agriculture.  Twenty-five local farms attend the Fair each year, growing an array of fruits and vegetables.  These local farms highlight the significance of building communities, how to better the environment, and most importantly they support the local families while investing in our future.  Commercial show chairman, Tony Forgetta, had a lot of positive knowledge and support around the large agricultural showcase.  Forgetta explains how the agriculture began as an entity for farmers years ago but they started to strictly compete against one another.  Now, it is not about the competition, it is about the education and promotion of the local farms.  Forgetta, who has been on the Board for 28 years, sincerely supports the local farmers and emphasizes that, “it is passionate people dealing with what they are passionate about.”

You can also find the eye catching 1,668 pound pumpkin display in the agricultural building, along with flower shows, poultry and dairy buildings, all revealing support for nearby farms while educating the thousands who come to the Fair.  In conjunction with the agriculture building, The Grange, is the Farmer’s Organization who has been showcasing agriculture for over 100 years.   Beverly, MA resident Joseph Johnston, has been part of The Grange for a stunning 25 years and expresses how “it is instrumental in a number of things, mostly supporting towns such as Rowley and other surrounding areas.”

It is hard to underestimate how much the Topsfield Fair has to offer.  The food, shows, displays, and the profound agriculture buildings bring together communities from the Northshore towns and other New England areas.  It is a lively, historic and eventful atmosphere and will continue on for many years to come.  It is not an event to miss out on because the Topsfield Fair has been a milestone for the Northshore and will continue to grow and educate all who come and enjoy.