Vermont State Fair tops fair "must sees"

Vermont's state and county fair season is underway. Topping the list is, of course, Rutland's very own award-winning Vermont State Fair which will be held Sept. 4-12.

The state fair held in Rutland began on Sept. 24, 1846. Agricultural events then-and now-included horse and cattle shows and exhibits, farm museums, horse, pony and ox pulling contests, ox shows, sheep and goat shows, horse shows, 4H building events, a sugar house and dairy center, forestry activities, fish and game programs, and a pet and poultry building.

This year, the state fair celebrates its 163rd year. Gov. Jim Douglas, who apparently enjoyed last year's fair performance of the Canadian Mounties, was so thrilled to hear that the policemen are returning to the fair, that he wrote fair officials a letter expressing his pleasure; the letter appears on the fair's official website.

The Vermont State Fair includes many free shows for attendees to enjoy.

Internationally recognized entertainers will provide the fair's midway shows this year. For more details and program times, see www.vermontstatefair.net.

There are other Vermont fairs remaining in the 2009 fair season:

•Deerfield Valley Farmer's Day Exhibition, Aug. 21 - 24, in Wilmington. Celebrating its 91st year with full midway with rides, truck and horse pulls, ox pulls, farm exhibits, horse show, children's activities, exhibit halls, sawing competition, pie eating contest, livestock competition. Demo Derby and midway.

•Caledonia County Fair, Aug. 20-24, in Lyndonville. Celebrating 164 years of tradition with agriculture, floral, maple, poultry, rabbit and 4-H exhibits.

•Bondville Fair, Aug. 22-24, in Bondville. Agricultural displays and contest; quilt show and exhibit; crafts; rides and games; live free entertainment; bingo; horse, ox, antique tractor, garden tractor, ATV and truck pulling.

•Champlain Valley Fair, Aug 23-Sept. 1, Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. Named a Top 100 American Bus Association Event in 2008 and the Top Agricultural Fair by the International Association of Fairs and Expos in 2006.

Tunbridge World's Fair, Sept. 11-14, in Tunbridge. Old-fashioned agricultural fair in rural setting.

•The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, Sept. 6-7, in Essex Junction. A special two-day event for animal and wool enthusiasts.

•South Hero Applefest and Craft Show, Oct. 11-12, in South Hero. Vermont's largest apple festival.

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