Rotary Community Fair returns to Town Common in Amherst 

  • Elijah Davis, 11, left, rides the Scrambler with his brother, Noah, 10, during the annual Rotary Community Fair, Thursday, May 23, 2019, on the Town Common in Amherst. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/23/2021 1:06:12 PM

AMHERST — A long-standing tradition of amusement rides and carnival games on the Town Common returns Thursday after an extended absence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rotary Community Fair, featuring various rides and games appealing to children of all ages and fair food such as cotton candy, fried dough and caramel apples, begins at 6 p.m. Thursday on the Town Common.

The event, with a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, and a climbing wall among the attractions, runs Thursday until 10 p.m., Friday from 6 to 11 p.m., Aug. 28 from noon to 11 p.m. and Aug. 29 from noon to 6 p.m.

Alvin Hall, who serves on the community fair committee for the Rotary Club of Amherst, said the fair is a partnership with Fanelli Brothers, which makes a payment to Rotary as the sponsoring organization.

“The money that Fanelli gives us goes back to the community,” Hall said.

Rotary offers scholarships and assists local nonprofits with small grants.

Rotary will also be raising some money at its tent, where drinks can be purchased and people can get shade and cover from the elements.

For most of the more than 60 years the fair has been running, it has been held in mid-to-late May, though on occasion Fanelli has set up at other times of the year.

Next week’s fair comes as students at the University of Massachusetts and the area colleges begin moving in. As the population of Amherst swells, Hall said the hope is people will come to the fair, but also patronize restaurants for meals and drop by the Amherst Farmers Market, which uses the Town Common on Saturdays.

“The neat thing is it will bring a lot of people to Amherst,” Hall said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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