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Sunday, October 9, 2011

CMDTA's Travel Tidbits: The Sandwich Fair

Country fairs are big in New England.  There are dozens and dozens of them.  I hope this statement doesn't offend anyone but the fairs tend to run the gambit from quaint to utter white trash.  For example because of it's location the Rochester Fair tends to be trashy with it's odd mix of people, demolition derby, and monster trucks.

Closer to the quaint side of things is the Sandwich Fair.  This fair doesn't have the demolition derby or monster trucks but it does have everything a classic country fair is known for.  Crafts, livestock, demonstrations, and enough junk food to kill a small nation; you can find it all at the Sandwich Fair.

The Sandwich fair is a little smaller than some of the mega fairs which means it's a little easier to get in and out of.  Granted you will still sit in traffic but it's nowhere near as bad as some of the other fairs.

You might wonder what you will see.  Here is a small walk through.  Through the main gate you you'll hit your classic fair carnival rides and midway games.  It's a little like that awful park of Animal Kingdom only better.  This is where you want to be if you want to see a poor kid get off of one of the brutal looking rides (pictured) and see him toss his cookies on the ground.  Also in this area is a barn where you can buy some local goods like fudge and other items.  The highlight of this section is the helicopter rides.  Yes you can get in a helicopter and go for a short ride over the fair.

The next section is line with food vendors and leads to the live stock and demo areas.

In the last section you can find horse pulls (click the photo for a video), donkey agility (that's not a joke), equestrian, tractor pulls, and stables with all sorts of animals you can get up and close to.  This area is where country fairs really stand out.  A lot of people don't have the opportunity to get up close to horses, donkeys, goats, alpacas, sheep, and pigs in their day to day lives.  Some of the animals are just crazy.  Like the goat pictured at the top of the page.  He actually stuck his head clean through the bars in an attempt to get attention from the people who were passing by.  The only ones that showed him up were the donkeys.  You haven't lived until you've seen people trying to get a bunch of donkeys through an agility course.  Donkeys do what donkeys want to do. When they don't want to jump...or move they don't.  You can pull and pull and it's not going to do any good.

They there is the food.  If you can fry it, it's at the fair.  Sure you have your normal artery cloggers like French fires and onion rings but you can also get such insane items such as fried pickles and Twinkies.  Yes Twinkies, because everyone knows they just weren't bad enough for you to begin with.

If you've never been to a country fair you really should try to get to one the next time you are in New England in the fall.   Almost every week from the end of August to the end of October you can find one.

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