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Biggest Agricultural Fairs in New England

Biggest Agricultural Fairs in New England
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In New England and throughout the country, agricultural fairs are synonymous with things like livestock competitions, handmade crafts, feats of strength, toe-tapping music, deliciously caloric food, beauty pageants, carnival rides, and a bustling Midway that comes alive with bright color when the sky turns dark. New England boasts many fairs — from state, to country, to a fair as large as the “Big E” (Eastern States Exposition), but they all fall under the agricultural category.

For space’s sake, here’s a list of the biggest fairs in each state, but we hope you’ll share your favorite fair in the comments section!

Washington County Fair — Richmond, RI
August 12-16, 2015
Featuring daily concerts, special acts and events, a giant midway and kiddy land area (including New England’s largest traveling roller coaster), agricultural events and shows, exhibits and displays, tractor and horse pulls, the farm museum, and more!

Vermont State Fair — Rutland, VT
September 5-12, 2015
Celebrating agriculture since 1846! Reach new heights on the Ferris wheel, thrill to the action of the demolition derby, try your luck at games of chance, ride the carousel, enjoy 4-H livestock shows, indulge in some tasty treats (fried dough, anyone?), and more!

The Big E — West Springfield, MA
Sept 18 – October 4, 2015
The Big E is the sixth largest agricultural fair in the country, and the largest in New England. Featuring Avenue of the States, Butter Sculpture, contests, rides, endless selections of food, shopping, top entertainment and musical acts, cheese competition, agricultural events and competitions, and much, much, more. You’ve got to visit to believe it!

BONUS! Opening Day at the Big E | New England’s Largest Agricultural Fair

Durham Fair — Durham, CT
September 24-27, 2015
Featuring top entertainment, crafts on the Green, carnival rides and games on the Midway (including the Super Coaster), first-class animal competitions and discovery events on the Corn Stalk Stage, lots to eat, exhibits showcasing livestock, fruits, vegetables, art, crafts, baking, needlework, photography, and more!

Deerfield Fair — Deerfield, NH
October 1-4, 2015
Featuring tractor pulls, livestock pulls and exhibitions, a demolition derby, the Ms. Deerfield Fair pageant, rides, artisans, your favorite fair food, and 4-H exhibits. A New Hampshire family fair tradition since 1876!

Fryeburg Fair — Fryeburg, ME
October 4-11, 2015
Featuring an impressively large display of oxen and ox competitions, plus livestock shows, harness racing, horse pulling, antique farm equipment displays and demonstrations, gardening and cooking contests and displays, a petting zoo, live musical acts, amusement rides, food, and more!

Which country fair is your favorite? Do you go for the food? The animals? The rides and games? Let us know!

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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20 Responses to Biggest Agricultural Fairs in New England

  1. Sharon Ronan September 1, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Where does the Marthas Vineyard Ag Fair rank in this mix. I just loved it this year. Lots of stuff and my son played in the band which provided music. What is your grading on this? Obama was there?

  2. Al Manchester August 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm #


  3. Alyssa August 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    My favorite fair is still the one from my hometown; I always spent the last week of my summer vacation at the Champlain Valley Fair. :) And my house was so close to the fairgrounds that I could hear the live concerts–no need for tickets!

  4. Ben August 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    If you want a REAL AG fair it’s Skowhegan Fair. Great livestock shows

  5. Ingrid Gordon August 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    How can you leave out the Topsfield Fair?

    • Aimee Seavey August 15, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Ingrid. We agree the Topsfield Fair is great, but since we had to limit this list to just one big fair per state, it’s hard to argue that any MA fair is bigger than the Big E!

  6. Lois Frankland August 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Woodstock Fair. CT. FOOD!

    • Melissa August 11, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Right?? How did the Woodstock Fair not make this list??

  7. stephen August 15, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    the big E,the best fair

  8. Marc August 15, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Woodstock Fair in Woodstock, CT. Labor Day weekend. Favorite event is the antique tractor pull on Friday night- just a stone boat on dirt with concrete blocks, nothing fancy, and lots of local people with nice machines, many of which are still used day to day. Might also be bigger than some on this list by attendance and/or physical size…

  9. Dan September 24, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    Haddam Neck Fair – major agricultural fair, but small enough to enjoy.

  10. Diane September 28, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    The Big E is held in West Springfield, MA, not Springfield.

    • Aimee Seavey September 29, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks for the clarification, Diane! We’ve updated the article.

  11. Ruth Webb August 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts is the best.

  12. Joanie Maclay August 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    You did not mention the CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FAIR..VERMONT’S BIGGEST & BEST FAIR. Located in EssexnJct.
    VT. it has lots of animals, horseshows, cattle shows? Sheep shows, farm to table dinner, craft, art shows, great concerts, terrific rides & the list goes on & on. Come by for a visit. There’s much more!!

  13. Susan August 10, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    i wondered why The Topsfield Fair wasn’t included. Isn’t it the oldest fair in the country? I think it is.

  14. Meghan Bove August 10, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Bethlehem Fair, Bethlehem, CT – always the weekend following Labor Day weekend.

  15. John August 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Yes the Woodstock fair in ct should be on this list

  16. Pat DiMaggio August 22, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    We received a wonderful placard from Yankee Magazine indicating that our fair was included in this information, Hopkinton State Fair is a wonderful Labor Day Weekend fair, full of our local 4-H children and their exhibits, local and regional entertainment, a fantastic mid-way show and much much more. Please plan to include us when planning to visit New Hampshire over Labor Day this year.

  17. Tina wells September 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    The Brooklyn Fair in Brooklyn, Ct is the oldest continuously running agricultural fair in the country.

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