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Best Agricultural and Festivals in Ct for food

nbermas Jul 25, 2009 06:14 AM

and fun? Tell me what is the best for the food and also for all the cute animals and fun. What is you favorite food at these fairs and why? I used to go to alot in the midwest but not to familar with the ones around here, I would love to to be a very country setting and with the 4H and all and of course the biggest and best veggies and pies. Thank you.

  1. kattyeyes Jul 25, 2009 07:55 AM

    Here is the motherlode of agricultural fairs and festivals in CT (easy Google find):

    I am partial to the Durham Fair because it's my local fair (I live in Middletown) and I went yearly for the first 21 years of my life. http://www.durhamfair.com/
    Food faves:
    - fried dough
    - clam fritters
    - fudge
    (yes, all low in calories, too!


    Though not in CT, I love the Big E in Springfield. http://www.thebige.com/fair/index.html
    Food faves:
    - apple flappen in the Storrowton Village section
    - cheese from the Vermont building
    - fudge (see a trend here?
    )- watching the Vitamix demo in the Better Living building is a hoot (the mus'go soup!)
    And don't forget a ride down the big yellow slide! Do keep your arms at your side if you enjoy being able to sit down without pain (take it from someone who had a WOOHOO moment and bruised her tailbone in a big way).

    The Durham Fair is in a country setting. The Big E is on blacktop, but each is lots of fun with plenty to eat and lots of animals. Including llamas and alpacas! Like this one:

    The woman on screen is my mom and I'm behind the camera cracking up as Dolly takes such an interest in me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes
      rbailin Jul 25, 2009 08:29 PM

      I have to agree with you 100% about both the Big E and the Durham fair.

      The Durham fair gives everyone over a certain age a reminder of joys (or not) of riding a school bus. The community organizations' food booths just can't be beat for quality and very decent prices for a fair. Plus a few trips up & down the hill will easily burn off those calories!

      And if you have any talent at all, you can enter your particular skill in one of hundreds of categories, from food & farming to photography, and maybe win a ribbon.

      Unlike the Big E, the Durham fair is compact enough so you won't be guaranteed shin splints and sore feet at day's end.

      But the Big E has delights of its own, from the food selection at the state houses (I should make Finnish pancakes more often at home, but never do), to the cream puffs & eclairs, to the almost sideshow-like demos at the Better Living Center, a name straight out of the 50's. The much more recent International Center has interesting booths, too, but seems to have gotten more commercialized in the last couple of years, probably due to increased booth rental fees.

      1. re: rbailin
        kattyeyes Jul 25, 2009 08:37 PM

        Speaking of talent, for the record, my mom had a whole, large wooden frame filled with ribbons for her winning entries to the Durham Fair (for canning, knitting, sewing, etc.). ;)

    2. t
      triggs73 Jul 26, 2009 09:01 AM

      The Bethlaham Fair is great for food. Although not as big as the Durham or Big E fairs, the food is delicious. In the past few years there is a group called the Chowda Heads that makes great New England Clam chowder served in a bread bowl. There is also a group that smokes pork....FANTASTIC. The crafts were good. Not many animal exhibits unless they changed it. Also, not as crowded as the Durham or Big E. One year, the fair announcer repeatedly made an annoucement about a dog locked in someone's car and the urgency to get the dog out of it. Then the countdown started. "You now have 5 minutes...4...3...2...1...We are now smashing the windows of your vehicle to rescue this poor unfortunate animal from your stupidity. The police will be waiting for you at your vehicle." They do not mess around. Years after that the same guy will announce over the loud speaker, "Well it's another year and another idiot has left his dog in the car with the windows closed." And then the countdown starts. On Sunday Mornings they have the tractor parade. Good ole Amricana.

      5 Replies
      1. re: triggs73
        elgato Jul 27, 2009 05:35 AM

        Check out http://www.ctfairs.org

        1. re: elgato
          Zina Jul 27, 2009 07:33 AM

          Not as big as durham, not as small as Bethlehem, the North Haven Fair, usually the first full weekend in Sept. has always been a favorite.

        2. re: triggs73
          cheereeo Aug 4, 2009 01:24 PM

          Triggs! Hysterical. I think I was there that day with the dog announcement! How funny. I second Bethlehem Fair and Big E (of course). I also enjoy Berlin Fair but you have to shuttle which is a pain. That's what's so nice about the Bethlehem Fair; you can usually get a good parking spot.

          1. re: cheereeo
            triggs73 Aug 4, 2009 01:35 PM

            APPLE FRITTERS @ the Berlin Fair were always good. I used to work for a guy who had a tent there. we would sell all general merch stuff, $1 items, etc. Another good story about the Berlin Fair...Something happened, I can't remember if it was a rain storm or just high wind, but a power line came loose above our tent and actually caught the tent on fire. After the fire dept. cleared everyone out, we had forgotten our $$ bag underneath the tent. So I go sprinting under the tent and someone from the fire dept. sacked me on the 40 yard line before I could reach the bag. What a night. O BIG PROPS!!! The bathrooms were always very clean...I don't know about now, but back then they were.

            1. re: triggs73
              cheereeo Aug 4, 2009 02:00 PM

              I love the perogi's with carmelized onions and sour cream at Berlin Fair.

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