TOPSFIELD – After a year-long hiatus, the Topsfield Fair returned on Friday with its usual mix of vendors, food, rides and entertainment.
The more than 200-year-old fair will run until October 11 and will feature its most popular attractions, such as rides and games on the Midway (including a second Ferris wheel this year), the giant pumpkin weigh-in and farm shows, animals (and racing pigs), shows and arena events.
âIt’s always kind of a mix of old and new,â spokesman David Thomson said.
But the beloved agricultural fair will have some differences this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
One of these changes will be obvious.
Participants will be required to wear face coverings inside all buildings at the fairgrounds under a mandate from the city board of health.
âOur goal is to always provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere at Topsfield Fair,â said James O’Brien, General Manager of the Fair. âWe will inform people of this mandate on our website as well as on signs posted outside and inside the fairgrounds. In addition to requiring masks inside buildings, we encourage festival-goers to use the hundreds of hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the fairgrounds and to ask anyone who isn’t feeling well to stay at home. “
Fair hours have also changed slightly for opening day and weekend evenings, which spokesman Dave Thomson attributes, in part, to the search for workers, a problem that plagues all sectors of the business. ‘activity.
“This is mainly due to staff shortages and less stress for all volunteers,” he said. More than 700 volunteers give of their time to contribute to the success of the fair.
It has also caused a slightly lower number of salespeople, Thomson said, as they cannot find workers to help staff their booths.
However, there will always be over 150 vendors set up around the fairgrounds.
And there will be an abundant and eclectic mix of foods.
âIt’s all fried,â Thompson confirmed with a laugh.
The organizers remind the public that there is also additional parking down the road from the fairgrounds if needed. A shuttle connects this lot to the exhibition center on a regular schedule.
âDon’t worry about parking,â Thompson said.
This year’s lineup includes something for all ages, Thomson said.
Frankie Avalon will perform on October 6; 38 Special October 7; Phil Vassar on October 8; Tony Orlando on October 9; Andrew Marshall on October 10 and Colin Jamieson on October 11.
Marshall just appeared on “The Voice” and Jamieson appeared on “American Idol”.
The two men both grew up in Boxford, a small community near Topsfield, and have enjoyed similar success, Thomson said.
Monday October 4 is Seniors Day with reduced rates for people over 60. Also from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 4, the fair’s lights and sounds will be turned down so that people with sensory issues can comfortably and safely attend.
Tuesday, October 5 is Military Day, when all serving military personnel and their immediate families can attend for free.
On the basis of pre-sales, the organizers expect a strong participation when the fair returns.
âThe numbers are really solid,â said Thomson. âWe expect large crowds. “
And the weather forecast looks good too, he added.
The fair program can be found here and ticket information can be found here.
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