Get Ready for the Sandwich Fair! 

By Sarah Wright 

One of the most popular fairs in the Lakes Region is during Columbus Day weekend, and it’s an enjoyable experience for the whole family! I’ve been taking my boys to Sandwich Fair for years, and we always have a great time. There are rides, animal shows, tractor and truck pulls, 4-H exhibits, and plenty of delicious food It’ll be easy to see why it’s so popular. 

Animals are a popular part of the fair's parade

Animals are a popular part of the fair's parade

Saturday, October 6 is Children’s Day and exhibits are open from 8 am to 6 pm, while the rides and midway open at 9 am, with ride specials running until 2 pm. See some unique cars in the Antique Auto Show, and enjoy the popular Antique Auto Parade at 1 pm, with prizes. There will also be an Antique Tractor Pull, and a Pedal Tractor Pull for children. Animals are featured in the Open Goat, Horse, and Beef Shows, and in the Miniature Horse Demonstration. The 4-H Dog Show will introduce a new “Stuffie” class this year for children too young to enter their own real dog. Children can enter their favorite stuffed dog instead, and a 4-H’er will be on hand to help them experience the fun of competition. Children will also enjoy watching the amazing Joe Howard, Magician, or receiving a playful balloon creation from Mo the Clown. The Granite State Disc Dogs will be on hand to show off some amazing jumps, with Ox and Steer Log Skidding, Pig Handling, and a Hand Milking Demo to round out the day. I’m curious to see what strategies the pig handlers use. I’m also excited to see Roderick Russell, the Mentalist and Sword Swallower. The 60’s Invasion Band will provide the soundtrack for the day of fun at the fair.  

Sunday, October 7 is not only Family Day, but it’s the most popular day, so arrive early! Exhibits are open from 8:30 am to 6 pm, and the rides and midway open at 9 am. You’ll see beautiful Gymkhana horses and the Single Horse Twitch event. More animals will be featured in the 4-H Goat Show, the Miniature Horse Demonstration, the Open Dairy Show, Horse Pulling, an Open Swine Show, and in a Sheep Shearing Demo. There will be another Antique Tractor Pull and Children’s Pedal Tractor Pull. Don’t miss some talented axe skills at the Woodsmen’s Field Day event. The Grand Street Parade will thrill onlookers at 1 pm, with this year’s theme being “Salute to the Troops.” There will be entertainment throughout the day, provided by MC Professor Paddy Whack, the Don Campbell Band, and the Stuck in Time Band. Other events will include the juggling and comedy of Jason Tardy, balloon creations by Mo the Clown, 4-H Livestock Talks where you’ll learn about the hard work and dedication that goes into raising animals, and Animal Fence Talks, a Team Wagon Competition, Oxen and Steer Trained Pairs, and a Hand Milking Demo. It’ll be another action-packed day at the Sandwich Fair! 

Finally, on Monday, October 8, there will be special pricing for seniors and free admission for members of the military who bring their identification cards. Exhibits will be open from 8 am to 5 pm, with rides opening at 9 am. Many animals will be featured in the 4-H Beef, Horse, Sheep/Open Sheep, Dairy, Working Steer, and Swine Shows. There will also be Ox Pulling and an Oxen Cart Obstacle Course. 4-H’ers will be on hand for Livestock Talks and Animal Fence Talks, and a Working Steer Cart Class Pull. Other pulls on Monday will include the popular Pickup Truck Pull and The Sugar Hill Snubbers Lawn Tractor Pull. For me, the most entertaining events are the Women’s Skillet Toss, and the equally fun Gentlemen’s Keg Toss (don’t worry, they’re empty!). Enter these crowd-pleasing activities and flex your arm muscles. Entertainment on Monday will be provided by MC’s Professor Paddy Whack and Joe Howard, with catchy tunes by the Ossipee Mountain Boys Band and Annie and the Orphans. Mo the Clown will be on hand again to made balloon creations for eager kids, and delicious treats will be auctioned off at the Baked Goods Auction.  

If you’re a big fan of the rides at the fair, consider going to the Friday Night Ride Preview on October 5, from 4 pm to 9 pm. Ride as many times as you like for just $20. My kids love the rides, with the bumper cars being their favorite. While they’re on the rides, I’m usually enjoying a caramel apple. It’s a fall tradition for me. We also enjoy looking at the interesting photos in the photography exhibit, and like to see which photos won a ribbon. There’s a Lego competition, too, and it’s cool to see the young entrants’ creativity. We also make sure to walk through the building with a variety of different chicken breeds and adorable bunnies on display. Children are amazed at the giant, award-winning pumpkin that sits nearby. It makes for a great photo-op! We never miss the Women’s Skillet Toss event, either. Traditionally, we’ll share a bag of fried dough nuggets, getting powdered sugar on our shirts while we marvel at the strength of the competitors. I’m looking forward to the memories we’ll create this year at the fair! Don’t miss it! 

The Sandwich fairgrounds are located at 7 Wentworth Hill Road at the junction of Routes 109 and 113, in Center Sandwich. The Fair offers free parking in a large lot off Squam Lake Road, and additional free parking is available at locations on Route 113. Fair organizers ask that you leave dogs at home, since they are not allowed at the fair.  

The rides and midway will remain open after the exhibits close, until the crowds thin out. For more information, visit the Sandwich Fair’s Facebook page or or call the fair office at 603-284-7062.  

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