|AUGUST 21, 2010 --
If you see a slew of rubber ducks careening down the Norwalk River on Sunday, don't worry. It's not a toy flock run amok.
The bathing birds are just entrants in the Rubber Duck Race, a part of the annual Cannon Grange Fair, which will celebrate its 78th year on Sunday, Aug. 22. The fair, held in and around the grange in Cannondale Village, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will provide food, crafts and animal exhibits, live music, contests for local foods and flowers, and an edible auction at day's end. There is a $2 admission charge and children under 12 are free.
The fair was first held in early September of 1933 and gave local farmers a chance to show off the fruits of their labor in the same location the fair is held in today. Some of the early Grange members included Nelson Hurlbutt and John F. Goetjen, whose names you may recognize. During WWII, the fair did take a brief hiatus but returned in 1975.
It's tough to say, these days, what the best part of the fair is. The Rubber Duck Race, whose proceeds will benefit Female Soldier, Forgotten Hero, is one of the chief attractions, along with a watermelon eating contests and other games for both kids and adults.
But all that fun is really just a guise for clearing your stomach so as to stuff it with some of the delectable treats brought in from all around the county to be judged and, later, gorged upon.
To enter your perfect pie, luscious lemon or anything else for judging at the fair, you must have your exhibit in place by 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. There is an accompanying $2 fee for all entries. You can also register between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, for which you will only pay $1. All exhibits must stay up until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and must be removed an hour later. Judging begins at 9 a.m. sharp on Sunday.
The exhibitors are broken down into departments: baked goods and preserves, crafts and collections, vegetables and fruit, flowers, sewing and needlework, poultry and fowl, rabbits, homemade spirits, photography, and eggs. Rules and regulations for all of the departments are available in the attached Grange 2010 Fairbook.
On the fair's main stage, live music will liven up the occasion from 11 a.m. through to the end. There will also be antique cars and fire trucks available for the little ones' viewing pleasure throughout the day.
Hope to see you there!
And for more information, visit the grange on the web: www.cannongrange.org, email: email@example.com, or call (203) 762-1900.