The Woodstock Fair is back.
It was canceled last summer because of the pandemic. It’s been a tradition for families for decades.
While flooding from Ida pushed back the start time for the fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, it only built anticipation for the summer favorite.
“It’s really nice because we get to see a lot of people we haven’t seen in a while and we get to work with our animals,” said Josiah Mariacher, a young farmer from Lee, New Hampshire, who was happy to be back at the fair.
“Last year we drove by these fairgrounds and they were empty and it did leave an empty feeling. A lot of people said. They drove by just to drive by. And now, we’re back,” said Woodstock Fair entertainment director Marc Allard.
Video of the fairground flooding earlier this week.
“It got really bad just by our service gate area, literally you could float a boat through there,” said Allard.
Friday’s sunshine helped dry things out.
These sand sculptures weathered the storm. Artists began carving this year’s old-time toys theme display Monday.
The artists, like other participants, hope to bring smiles…and happy stomachs!
“You can come and try a giant pickle and one of the promos our pastor has been doing is chicken and waffles, a truly religious experience,” said Chris Liguz with Westfield Congregational Church in Killingly.
Local organizations are looking forward to fundraising here again after last year’s cancellation.
“It’s been tough we haven’t been able to do any church fundraisers so coming out this year we’ve heard every fair has been up so we’re truly anticipating a really good year,” said Liguz.
The Woodstock Lions Club had to dig into their contingency funds to donate to charities during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re hoping for a good year this year to build our inventory of funds back up again,” said club member Bill Moseley.
New to the fair, a Hartford-based food truck says their food will take you to new heights.
“This is a taste of heaven, so when you get up there just tell God we said hi,” said Robert Bird of El Bori.
Don’t forget to enjoy the entertainment, rides, and of course the livestock too.
The superintendent at the fair’s bovine birthing center says the tradition allows her family farm to show off the pride they have for their product, educate about what it means to be a dairy farmer, and how calves are born too.
“It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We get to do it every day, but so we open it up to other people,” said Erica Hermonot, Fairholm Farm in Woodstock
For longtime participants, setting up for the 4-day event is like a homecoming and they’re looking forward to greeting crowds again tonight.
Gates open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 9 a.m.