Riverton Fair back for 102nd year
RIVERTON — The 102nd annual Riverton Fair will be held this weekend — on Friday, Oct. 7, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.The fair will include a large variety of rides, agricultural exhibits, band performances, contests, livestock contests and plenty of amusements and family fun for everyone.Contests include wood chopping, sawing, ax throwing, oxen pulling, baking and pie eating.Al Jones is a fair organizer and said he has attended it since he was a baby.“The technical name for the fair is The Union Agricultural Society of Barkhamsted, Colebrook and Hartland Inc., but it’s just so much easier to say the Riverton Fair,” Jones said. “The fair was created as a way to have friendly competition between farmers, one of those ‘my pumpkin is bigger than your pumpkin’ type of events. More than 100 years ago these fairs were major social events where you went to be seen and meet neighbors. Back then the world was much more spread out and distant.”Jones said the fair used to be more focused on agricultural lifestyles.“Now the fair is more focused on family entertainment, not just in the midway, but also with bands and performances,” Jones said. “But we have continued with the traditional elements. We still have agricultural exhibits and oxen pulls, and you’ve got to have pie eating contests. This year we have expanded the competition with arts and crafts contests. Of course we have rides, with the midway open with games and all the fair food that doctors hate but we all love.”Jones said the fair has been a family tradition.“My grandfather was the past president, my father and mother have also worked at the fair in the past,” Jones said. “My brother and sister-in-law work there. It has always been a family event.”The fairground is located on Route 20. Admission is $6 a day with children 12 and under free. Parking is free. No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed. For more information, visit the fair’s website at www.rivertonfair.org.