WOODSTOCK, Conn. — For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woodstock Fair will be back to normal.
In fact, the 161st annual Labor Day weekend fair (September 2-5 this year) will be even better than usual with an expanded carnival for younger children, a bigger horse show and better and an exhibition of goats.
The only thing that will be missing will be chickens because of the previous outbreak of bird flu and a desire to err on the side of caution, acting president Jeffrey Gordon said.
While the fair stays true to its agricultural roots, it has grown into an event with something for everyone, Gordon said.
“We expanded the carnival area because people seemed to really like it,” Gordon said, adding that the area is separated from the midway, which is more suitable for teenagers and adults.
With two stages for entertainment, there’s a chance to see some of the biggest names on the main stage, including Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts, the Gatlin Brothers, Gin Blossoms and Dire Straits Legacy, which features five of the members Dire Straits originals.
The South Stage Family Fun Center offers entertainment for all ages, including diaper board for toddlers and grapefruit bowling for seniors 55 and older.
Also performing is the East Woodstock Cornet Band, advertised as a fair tradition.
In addition to the entertainment, there is an arts and crafts fair, displays of fruit and vegetables, handmade goods and artwork with producers and creators vying for the blue ribbon.
There are also horse, pony, tractor and ox pulls: competitions to see which of each category can move the most weight.
Gordon said fair officials are excited about this year’s offerings after cancellations and a scaled-down version of the fair last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Woodstock Fair is open from noon to 9pm on September 2nd, from 9am to 9pm on September 3rd and 4th and from 9am to 5pm on September 5th.
The fairgrounds is located at 281 Route 169 in Woodstock.