After a year off, Riverton Fair makes a comeback (PHOTOS)

Oxen pull during The Riverton Fair on Saturday, Oct. 9. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.
Oxen pull during The Riverton Fair on Saturday, Oct. 9. Photo by Shaw Israel Izikson.

RIVERTON — The Riverton Fair, a down-home New England tradition resumed after a year off due to the pandemic on Friday, Oct. 8, Saturday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Oct. 10.
The event has been held for 111 years, with a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The fair has been organized by The Union Agricultural Society of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, and Hartland, Inc. since 1909.
Hundreds of people attended the event which included carnival rides, agricultural demonstrations including a display of farm animals, oxen pulls, ax throwing, and skillet throwing competitions, along with lumberjack competitions and live music.
“It’s good to see the crowds coming out again,” First Selectman Don Stein said. “Events like this become embedded in the fabric of the town. People look forward to it because it’s traditionally the last fair of the season. School students all like to be out there with their friends, and adults who haven’t seen each other in a long time can hang out with each other. The fair speaks to the nature of the community.”
Students from Northwestern Regional High School’s FFA Club had a booth at the event which included sales of their maple syrup.
“We are super glad to have our students back at the fair,” FFA Club Advisor John Farrell said. “We missed it. Having a booth here is a great way for the kids to practice their public speaking and to spread the word about what agriculture is all about. The fair always brings people together. Traditionally, the Northwest Corner has been all about community celebrations. It seems like we have been getting further and further away from that. It’s good to have a little taste of that again.”
Speaking of taste, the fair also included its traditional baking contests, along with contests in art, and photography.
“We didn’t get too many entries in the baking contest this year, but we are hoping to get a lot more next year,” baking contest judge Sandy Thomsen said. “But it’s so good to see people enjoy the fair. This fair is very important to this area. We all missed it when it didn’t happen last year. It was like a big gaping hole in our hearts.”

Photos by Shaw Israel Izikson

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