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Despite rain, Cummington Fair has attractions for people of all ages



Friday, October 10, 2014
CUMMINGTON — Officials of the 146th annual Cummington Fair said rain the first two days did not dampen their resolve to make it a fun experience for fairgoers of all ages.

Thursday “we called the rain ‘a little dust control,’ ” Karen Rida of Worthington said Friday with a smile. She is secretary of the Hillside Agricultural Society which runs the fair.

“There is still a lot to do at the fair even if it does rain,” she said. The performances, crafts, livestock barns, dining hall and some of the vendors are in enclosed or covered areas.

“I’m betting on Saturday and Sunday being beautiful and I don’t care what the weather forecast is,” Rida said. “And you know, if it rains, there are always ponchos and umbrellas.”

The weekend forecast is for partly cloudy weather Saturday and mostly sunny on Sunday, with temperatures in the high 70s and perhaps reaching 80.

The fair usually draws 30,000 people over its four-day run.

On Friday, the fair opened at 4 p.m. After a slow start, by 6 p.m. the crowds started to filter in, many with raincoats and jackets slung over their arms or umbrellas in their hands, undaunted by the gray skies.

“I come every year,” said Kelley Huntley, 11, of Easthampton, as a large tractor-drawn wagon bumped and jostled passengers from the parking area to the fairgrounds.

“There is just something about this fair, I love coming here,” said Kelley, who was with his parents Brian and Heather Huntley.

One of Friday’s attractions was the demolition derby. Rain began to fall just before that event, but the shower was short-lived and the derby went on as planned.

“We are here for the demolition derby,” said Tammy Mercanti of Clarksburg, who attended the fair with her mother Connie Lincoln and sister Robbin Simonetti. “My son is in it this year, that is why we came tonight,” Mercanti added.

“We try to get here every year,” Simonetti said. “My husband likes to watch the horse pulls.”

Friday’s events also included a women’s truck pull, a youth dairy judging contest, a sheep obstacle course, a children’s corner with “Ditsy the Glamorous Clown, and entertainment by Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix.

While many children lined up for fried dough, ice cream, and cotton candy, or headed over to the carnival rides, 5-year-old Lucy McGuinness-Holland of Florence was fascinated by a display put together by the Ashfield Rod and Gun Club of animal skulls and furs.

To her dismay, the items were not available for purchase, but were there only for educational purposes.

For people who love classic cars, several will be on display throughout the fair.

Curtis and Jean Bush said that they make the fair an annual event. This year they are exhibiting their red-and-white 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.

“The weather is not the best for convertibles,” Curtis Bush said. “If it rains, I hope the top goes up, because I haven’t tried it since spring.”

He added, “When we got married in 1960, we had a car just like this. Ever since then I have wanted one.” They finally acquired the convertible in 2000 after many years of looking.

The fair on Fairgrounds Road is open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. A listing of events is available online at www.cummingtonfair.com or by calling 413-634-5091.