'The 100th Annual Haddam Neck Fair'
In 1911, the fair was a one-day event that attracted over 1,500 visitors and featured a decorated wagon parade, 200 head of cattle, athletic events and band concerts.
The recently constructed grange hall hosted a home-cooked turkey dinner with all the fixin’s for 50 cents and exhibits of fancy work, garden produce and baked goods. The baby show, which is still a popular draw today, awarded $5 in gold to the prettiest and fattest baby.
Early entertainment included vaudeville shows, magic acts and a chance to catch a greased pig (which you got to take home if you caught it).
Over the next century the fair grew and modernized but remained true to its small “country fair” reputation where neighbors could visit and fairgoers could enjoy a day off from work and chores and take pleasure in “the little fair that set the others guessing.”
Fair President Dianne McHutchison and Haddam Historical Society Director Elizabeth Malloy have compiled over 200 historic photographs and images to create a pictorial history of Haddam Neck Fair, which will be available over Labor Day Weekend for $15.
Photos from both private and public collections chronicle the fair from the early 1900s to the present and reflect how the fair has continued to provide “loads of laughs, bushels of bliss and hoppers of hilarity” (1916) and is a true community event. For more information on the fair, visit www.hadddamneckfair.com.