ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County's only agricultural fair is a high point of summer as local farmers display their livestock and produce; crafts and canned and baked goods fill the exhibit hall; and the sounds of music and crashing cars fill Bowe Field.
But not this year.
The 46th annual Adams Agricultural Fair has been canceled for the first time in its history.
The fair's board of directors announced Wednesday that because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to call off this year's fair.
"It was an extremely difficult decision to cancel the fair," board member Elizabeth Randall said. "We finally decided the health of everyone was more important in light of the pandemic."
She said much of the fair was already planned because they typically start organizing the next year's fair two weeks after the last one ends. But as the pandemic ramped up, the directors were forced to make a decision -- which they did last week.
And this is a first for the fair.
"The fair has never been canceled. The first year on Bowe Field, we had a cloudburst, thunderstorm," Randall said. "Everyone was holding onto tent posts so the tent would not blow away. Members had equipment out pulling vendors out of small ponds. The next day the sun came out and the fair went on. They joke it always rains for the Aggie Fair! We always go on."
Randall said she thinks the fair will be missed especially this year after a tough few months
"I think the fair will be missed. It is family-oriented with something for everyone," she said. "Many bring chairs and watch the ox or horse pulls for the entire day."
She noted that the lack of a fair is a hit to local farmers and others who showcase their livestock, produce, and crafts. She urged folks to continue to support the agricultural community in any way possible.
"Everyone should support the local farmers by attending farmers market, perhaps ordering ahead and picking up orders or buying the delicious cheeses and fresh milk that is available," she said. "Buy home-raised eggs when possible and enjoy the orange yolks and freshness."
She said once the pandemic dies down, the utilization of Bowe Field is also a good way to support the fair.
"Bowe Field has become a place to hold events in the past years," she said. "It has a large pavilion, bathrooms, plenty of parking, and easy access. No other comparable venue in our area.
Randall said fundraising was well underway, the demolition derby was scheduled, and they were working on some new events. Although it is difficult to cancel the last agricultural fair in the county, organizers say they will be back next year better than ever.
"The fair will be missed this year but will come back," she said. "Great volunteers make it all possible with donating their time and local support."
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Veterans Make Memorial Day Trek to War Memorial
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Retired Navy Petty Officer Cindy Lacoste speaks at Sunday's Memorial Day observance.
ADAMS, Mass. — North County American Legion members made their way to the summit of Mount Greylock early on Sunday morning for their 89th pilgrimage to the state's War Memorial.
Speaker Cindy Lacoste, a retired petty officer with 22 years serving in the Navy and current member of the Department of Massachusetts Executive Committee of Women of the American Legion, spoke and recalled memories of fallen veterans.
"Memorial Day brings up so many memories to me, and I'm sure it does to you," she said. "But in 2003, I was deployed to the Middle East not knowing if I was going to make it back home. So the fact that I did, obviously, I'm forever grateful, and I want to make sure that I never forget the stories of those that didn't come back."
She recalled the story of a young soldier, Cindy Bowden, who was a freshman attending the University of Connecticut during the Gulf War.