ADAMS, Mass. — The 37th annual Adams Agricultural Fair is off to a rockin' start on Thursday night with the Battle of the Bands at 6 under the big tent at Bowe Field.
The musical clash kicks off a weekend of old-fashioned oxen pulls, daring demolition derbies, Zumba, kids rides, amusements, agricultural competitions and lots of animals.
"There's a lot of entertainment," said Joan Shears, secretary for the fair group, as volunteers hoisted tents and set up chairs for Thursday's event. "There's food, fun, some different things, especially this year."
Along with Battle of the Bands, new this year is a quilters design challenge, a sound and light show of customized vehicles by Street Legal of Pittsfield, a 4x4 tug of war and a chili cookoff.
"The Battle of the Bands should bring in the younger kids," said Shears, "but there's something for everybody."
The eight bands performing tonight are mostly rock 'n' roll with a splash of blues and bluegrass: Silent Feedback, Rebel Alliance, W.E. Rider IV, My Name Is Horace, Shitzoo Ballistic, High Frequency, Here Lies Home and Wildwood.
The bands get a half-hour each and will be judged on appearance, music and performance; the screams of fans will be taken into account.
The fair proper begins Friday at 5 p.m. with a "cruise-in" of hot rods, classics and customs; a children's pedal tractor contest starts at 7 p.m.
Gates open at 9 on Saturday judging of sheep, goats and cattle. Crowning of the Aggie Fair prince and princess takes place at 10:30 and Wendy Warner gives a sheep dog demonstration at 12:30 (and again at 1 on Sunday).
The chili challenge is set for 1; about a half-dozen professional restaurants will be bringing their hot stuff to the fair. If the challenge proves popular, the fair hopes to have a set up next year that will allow chili to be cooked onsite, said coordinator Charles Felix.
The 4x4 tug of war starts at 2 and the Street Legal show at 7:30.
Sunday kicks off at 9 a.m. with cattle judging, with an oxen pull at 11. The Berkshire Highlanders perform at 1:30 and the ever-popular demolition derby revs for chaos up at 2, rain or shine. Final awards under the main tent to conclude the fair begin at 4.
Throughout the weekend, there will be music, knife throwers, magic tricks, demonstrations, displays, children's carnival rides, pony rides and food vendors. Admission for children is $1; adults $5, $6 on Sunday. Three-day pass is $10. Adams Agricultural Fair 2011
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