WATERFORD — A little country fair without barkers or Ferris wheels aims to draw a crowd this weekend with traditional attractions and a grandiose name.

It’s called the Waterford World’s Fair.

“We call ourselves the small fair with the big heart,” President Dana Hemingway said. “We’re a small agricultural fair. We don’t have a midway. We just have mostly educational stuff.”

However, the fair routinely draws more than 1,500 people during its three days, and organizers hope to draw a record crowd this year on the strength of live music and its traditional offerings.

It includes oxen, horse, tractor and ATV pulls, skillet and horseshoe throws, apple, strawberry and whoopie pie contests, pig scrambles and nightly cow chip bingo. There is also a McDonald’s barn and demonstrations on making wool.

“We just have a gob of stuff,” Hemingway said.


It kicks off Friday at 9 a.m. and continues until Sunday at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 and parking is free.

People who know the fair — it was begun in 1850 and incorporated about 1900 — ought to see everything they’ve come to expect and a few things they’ve never seen, Hemingway said.

Among the continually popular offerings is oxen pulling. Last year, the fair drew 64 teams, an all-time high. The ATV pull is a new event.

Also coming to the fair for the first time are a pair of sheepdog trials, scheduled for Sunday. A sheepdog owner from New Hampshire will demonstrate the working animals’ ability to follow commands and herd sheep.

“I’ve seen it elsewhere, and there’s been standing room only,” Hemingway said.

Crowds are also anticipated for the music, which features performers such as Trailer Trash, Smokehouse Boys, Black Cat Road, A Bunch of Hippies and Heather Pierson, who won last year’s New England Songwriting Contest.


Hemingway hopes to entice families to attend, promising that they’ll experience the fair together.

“When families come to our fair, they stay a family,” he said. “They kind of hang out together, whereas, if there’s a midway, once you hit the front gate, the kids get their $20 bill, and you don’t see them for the day.”

The fair is on Green Road off Route 35, across from Melby’s Market. For more information, see their website at www.waterfordworldsfair.org.


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