The Adams Agricultural Fair is the only major fair in Berkshire County, where the very first American fair was held 200 years ago.
ADAMS, Mass. — The 38th annual Agricultural Fair kicks off on Friday night with the dedication of its new pavilion at Bowe Field at 6 p.m.
The $95,000 structure replaces the impermanent tents that were used for activities including performances during the three-day fair.
The Agricultural Fair is one of 11 accepted into the state's Fair Viability Program, through which it recived a $50,000 grant toward the new pavilion. The balance was raised through donations and in-kind services and erected over the last month.
"It's the same size as the tent but it looks huge," said Elizabeth Randall, the fair's publicity director on Tuesday. "We worked so hard for that."
Randall said there was some concern on getting all the lighting work done on time but everything is ready for the fair to open.
"We're going to have the permanent lights in there," she said. "It doesn't take much to make us happy."
In addition to its new look, the fair has a few new events: a Jeep Jamboree and Hillbilly Lawn Tractor Drag Racing.
The Jeep Jamboree camping runs Friday and Saturday, with people's choice judging announced at 6 on Saturday.
The lawn tractor drag racing takes place on Saturday at noon sharp. Entry fee is $15 but make sure your vehicle's deck is off or disengaged, that there's no more than a 1/2 tank of gas — and that it's not worth more than a few hundred dollars.
Immediately following the racing, the fair hosts a garden tractor pulling contest being sponsored by a group from Middlefield
Major events: Friday, Aug. 3
• Pavilion dedication, 6 p.m. • Cruise Night, 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 • Crowning of prince & princess, 11 a.m. • Horse pull, 11 a.m. • Hillbilly Tractor Racing, noon • Chili judging, 1 to 2 • Shut Up 'N' Dance, 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 • Demolition Derby, 2 p.m.
For more information on registration and schedules: Adams Aggie Fair. Check out the Facebook page here.
Back for a second year is the chili cook-off on Saturday afternoon, along with host of activities — Cruise Night, music, knife-throwing, antique tractors, Zumba, agricultural exhibits and demonstrations, food, and lots of farm animals. A dunking booth's been added — volunteers welcome.
The fair prince and princess are crowned Saturday morning and will get to ride a float in the Fall Foliage Festival Parade. A new kids' event is a "frozen T-shirt" contest in which the first one getting on a T-shirt — wet, tied, frozen and bagged — wins "bragging rights."
"We have lots of vendors with new types of food on the field," said Randall. "It's going to busy."
The fair culminates on Sunday with the ever-popular Demolition Derby. Fair awards will be presented as the end of the fair.
Parking is free, said Randall, cautioning if fairgoers are being charged to park that has nothing to do with the fair. Admission is at the gate only and is $5 on Friday and Saturday, $6 for adults on Sunday.
A shuttle will begin running at 11 a.m. this weekend between the fairgrounds on Old Columbia Street and the parking lot of the former North Adams Plaza on Curran Highway.
The fair officially opens Friday but the action really starts on Thursday at 6 p.m. with the second annual Battle of the Bands.
Last year saw Rebel Alliance take the trophy against six competitors. This year, at least six bands — Silent Feedback, Insult to Ignorance, Matchstick Architects, Our Narrow Escape, Here Lies Hope, After the Monsoons — are expected to take the stage for the "play-off."
Around 6,000 or so people attend the three-day fair, the only major fair in Berkshire County.
"I hope everybody comes down and sees the pavilion and what they helped to erect," said Randall. "And have fun."
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