Woodstock Fair returns Labor Day weekend with rides and entertainment
WOODSTOCK, Conn. — For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woodstock Fair will return to normal.
In fact, the 161st annual Labor Day weekend fair – September 2-5 this year – will be better than normal with an expanded carnival for small children, a bigger and better horse show and an exhibition of goats.
The only thing missing will be chickens due to the first outbreak of bird flu and the desire to err on the side of caution, acting chairman Jeffrey Gordon said.
While the fair stays true to its agricultural roots, it’s become an event with something for everyone, Gordon said.
“We expanded the carnival area because people seemed to really like it,” Gordon said, adding that the area is separated from the midway which is more geared towards teenagers and adults.
With two entertainment stages, it’s possible to see bigger names on the main stage, including Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox, the Gatlin Brothers, the Gin Blossoms and Dire Straits Legacy, which includes five of the original members of Dire Straits.
The South Stage Family Fun Center offers entertainment for all ages, including diaper dash for crawling babies and grapefruit bowling for ages 55 and up.
The East Woodstock Cornet Band, billed as a fair tradition, also performs there.
In addition to entertainment, there’s an arts and crafts fair, fruit and vegetable displays, handmade items and artwork with producers and designers vying for the elusive blue ribbon. .
There are also draws for horses, ponies, tractors and oxen – competitions to see which in each category can move the most weight.
Gordon said fair officials were excited about this year’s offerings after cancellations and a scaled-down version of the fair last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Woodstock Fair is open from noon to 9 p.m. on September 2, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on September 3 and 4, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 5.
The fairgrounds are located at 281 Route 169 in Woodstock.