|By Michelle Kealey|
WESTFIELD The Westfield Fair Association is combining agriculture, food and fun for the 78th year during the Westfield Fair, which will take place Aug. 19-21 at the Westfield Fair Grounds on Russellville Road.
Jean Demers, co-president of the Westfield Fair Association, explained that local farmers decided to get together 78 years ago to do something more than a farmer's market and "out of that grew the Westfield Fair."
She said that the fair is sanctioned as an agriculture fair and includes 4-H events, adult animal exhibits that include dairy animals, sheep, beef cattle and poultry as well as horseshoes.
Demers said that people from farms all over the region and beyond attend the fair and compete in the various contests.
"There are animals from North Adams and Greenfield, not just the immediate area," she said.
The fair also includes a demolition derby, carnival, tractor pulls, truck pulls, mini-tractor pulls (riding lawn mowers) and a BMX competition on the Westfield Fair Ground's BMX bike track.
"It is a well known track and we get people from all over [the region] and [from] outside the region to compete," she said.
In addition to the animals and competitions, the Westfield Fair offers a variety of what Demers called "good fair food."
She said there will be a fair booth as well as vendors who will be selling foods such as fried dough, french fries, cotton candy, chili sold by the Marine Corp League and other "carnival type food."
According to Demers, the fair booth has a barbeque dinner each year that sells out quickly.
"People stand in line and wait," she said.
Demers said that the Westfield Fair is important for the people who participate so that "they know what they're doing is worthwhile."
She added that it is important for the "viewing public to understand where their gallon of milk came from."
Demers said that during a normal year, an excess of 10,000 attend the fair.
Last year, the fair lost a day because rain flooded the grounds, which Demers said had never happened before.
The event is staffed by volunteers, who begin to plan the next event right after the fair ends. The Westfield Fair Association is always looking for more volunteers. Those interested can contact Demers at 568-2016.
The cost to attend the fair is $6. Seniors enter the fair for $4 and children under 12 enter free. Parking for the event is free and takes place rain or shine.
The fair hours are Friday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Anyone interested in entering any of the animal contests can still do so by contacting Demers at 568-2016 for the premium book that contains all of the rules and regulations for the contest. The booklets can also be picked up at the Westfield Athenaeum, Westfield Feed and Westfield Home and Garden.