Attractions draws crowds to Sandwich Fair

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Attractions draws crowds to Sandwich Fair

Post  fshnski on Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:15 pm

It looks like the weather is going to be a great for the Sandwich Fair!

Before the crowds come, the corn is popped and taffy pulled — even before the first whir of the carousel — the fairgrounds in Sandwich are teeming with activity.

Before the crowds descend to watch a show or marvel at the brute force of cattle, there is lots of work to be done to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

"It's accommodating the number of visitors and exhibitors at the fair, and making them as comfortable ... as possible," said Robert Hatch, working steer director for the Sandwich Fair. "It's really the exhibitors that make our show, and ultimately make the fair."

The fair, which runs Saturday through Monday, this year will have a farmers market, craft and quilt buildings and other locally-focused attractions. But it's the animal events that still draw the crowds.

Though it involves a big commitment in terms of time, effort and money, exhibitors in many instances are training their animals as a hobby outside of regular work, Hatch said.

When the end of June rolls around, typically they're spending every weekend competing at events throughout the state and region, with the Sandwich Fair signaling the end of the season.

"There's an intense amount of training that takes place," Hatch said. "This is the place to show them off and to show what you've taught them. It's a lot of work to uproot everything you do at home to bring them to the fair. A lot of these people have other animals at home, so they are either traveling back and forth to do their chores or they're hiring someone else to go and do their projects."

That's not to say it's a cakewalk for officials like Hatch, who get everything ready for the exhibitors. Part of his job is to make sure that the animals, which in terms of oxen alone can mean as many as 20 to 30 teams, have enough space and plenty of bedding.

Adding to the challenge this year, Hatch said, is that they are expecting 25 percent more animals. Usually, the Sandwich Fair competes for exhibitors with the Fryeburg Fair in Maine, but this year, that festival has been scheduled for a week later.

Additionally, Hatch said, his job includes organizing the obstacle course for the log-scooting competition, which simulates obstacles a working team would encounter in the woods. Hatch each year picks judges, who design a new course for the annual event.

"I try to make it sound like it's not a lot of work," Hatch said with a chuckle. "But I guess it is a lot of work."

If animal pulls aren't enough for you, The Sugar Hill Snubbers Lawn Tractor Pullers will return with their brand of ruckus at the fair on Monday. All pulling is done strictly for fun and, as such, there are no cash prizes awarded, fair officials said. There are four classes ranging from stock to fully customized tractors.

Also on the schedule is Mike Piazza with his Frisbee Dogs Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 and 5 p.m. Piazza, a multiple world finalist and former long-distance world record holder, has performed for NFL, NBA, MLS, Minor League Baseball, ESPN, Animal Planet, NESN, college halftime sporting events, fairs, TV commercials, magazine covers, corporate events, pet expos and camps.

Tickets Friday are free from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and $15 for rides. Saturday's ride special is $20 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Otherwise, tickets are $10 for adults, $3 for ages eight to 13 and free for those under seven. Gates open at 8 a.m.

For more information, visit www.thesandwichfair.com.


http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20131010/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/131019941

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Re: Attractions draws crowds to Sandwich Fair

Post  fshnski on Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:22 pm

If you have never been to the Sandwich Fair you have missed a part of New Hampshire that hasn't changed in the 20+ years I have lived in New Hampshire.

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Re: Attractions draws crowds to Sandwich Fair

Post  fshnski on Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:47 pm

My wife and I like going on Columbus Day. It's mostly New Hampshire folks that day. We go rain or shine and like to get to the fair at about 7:00 am. Not much is open then but you really get a chance to see what happens at a fair. I love the 4H stuff. It reminds you that there are good kids in America.

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