NORTH HAVEN — Town native Adrianne Appel has made it a tradition to get to the North Haven Fair every year, even after moving to another state.
On Friday, she and her 3-year-old daughter Eva traveled from Massachusetts to meet Appel’s sister among the livestock and homemade crafts at the 76th annual fair on Washington Avenue (Route 5).
“I try to always come back for the fair,” Appel said. She usually combines the fair with a visit with family in the area.
Growing up in North Haven, she said her family would go all the time when she was a kid, and as a teenager, the fair was” the place to be.” She remembers entering some crafts in the exhibits a few times, and one year won the grand prize in candy-making for her grandmother’s “snowball” recipe made with dates and coconut.
The fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., featuring the Middlesex County Tractor Pullers, the bands DynaMojo and Cracked Walnuts, and Northeast Wrestling.
“People still come because it’s the fair and it only happens once a year,” said Joe DeLorenzo, an executive board member of the fair organization.
Rainy and cloudy weather on the first three days of the fair, kept some in the barns and tents, where the exhibits are held. One volunteer who was in the Community Service barn with New Haven’s Seventh-day Adventist Church said it started raining right when the fair opened Thursday night.
“The rains seem to have watches, and they know exactly when to let loose,” Pastor Warren Ruf said with a laugh. His church offered free health screenings.
When the weather cleared Friday night, the North Haven band “Band Mannerz” started playing Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” to the delight of the crowd.
DeLorenzo said because most activities are inside barns, only the amusement rides and some rain-adverse animals are affected by bad weather.
The fair included traditional activities, including a wide selection of food; exhibits in agriculture, home arts and animals; and various local vendors and nonprofits. Each day also features a variety of entertainment, from live bands to pulling and drawing contests.
This year brought back the Craft Barn for a second time and the Show-Me Safari Racing Pigs and the Marvelous Mutts performed again as well. Entertainment also included chainsaw carving daily. In the Old MacDonald’s Farm section, kids can play in “the corn patch” mini maze, feed animals, admire baby chicks and learn about pioneer life.