After months of planning and anticipation, the 100th annual Durham Fair kicked off Thursday, Sept. 26. While opening day included a bit of rain, the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
During an opening ceremony, descendants and relatives of past Durham Fair presidents cut the ribbon signaling the start of the fair. The ceremony then moved into the fairgrounds where the Everlasting Tribute was officially commissioned. This new venue consists of a patio, seating and flagpoles to recognize the support of the community. Brick pavers and some seating is engraved with personal messages from donors.
State Sen. Christine Cohen gave a celebratory citation to the fair from the Connecticut General Assembly. “This fair is all about volunteerism, which is wonderful, and bringing community together,” she said. “I’m excited to be a part of its 100th birthday this year.”
The event ran through Sunday, Sept. 29, and over the weekend, the response from all corners was positive as folks came out to enjoy a range of fun activities such as fireworks, a laser light show and the Great Lakes Timber show, which included chainsaw carving, axe throwing and log rolling. Musical performances included Little River Band, Big & Rich, Presley and Taylor and Braiden Sunshine.
Denise Funaro and her husband have volunteeried at the fair for the last 10 years and returned to help out again this year from their home in North Carolina. “I love seeing all the little kids especially,” she said. “I love it. I’m excited to see the band and we saw the fireworks, which were great.”
Aimee Jackson and her family – two kids and husband, Brent – came from Massachusetts. “The kids are loving the rides, the food is great and all of the tents have had some really cool stuff in them,” Jackson said. “The kids are also really excited about the tractor pulls."
Coordinator of Directors at Large, Norm Hicks, said the board “really pulled out all the stops on this fair.”
“There’s a good crowd and it looks like everybody’s having fun,” he said. “It makes me feel good that we’re putting on a quality show for the state of Connecticut.”