Poultry judging, the dog show, horse pull, skillet toss, knitting competitions and carnival rides will all return next week when the 159th Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair gets under way.

After going virtual last year, the traditional Agricultural Fair is back in person and will be held from Thursday, August 19 through Sunday, August 22.

But there are also extra precautions this year, with Covid-19 cases rising again on the Vineyard due to the Delta variant. Masks will be required inside the hall and in tents, and people who are not vaccinated are urged to wear masks at all times. Online ticketing is encouraged in advance as well, to avoid crowding at the entrances. For now, fair organizers say attendance will not be limited.

“Covid is one of the biggest changes that we’ve had to deal with and that keeps changing sort of day to day,” said Lauren Lynch, executive director of the Ag Society who is managing the fair. “We will monitor capacity and we are asking everyone on the ground to wear masks if you’re not vaccinated,” she said.

Fair goers can expect the event to look familiar.

Dotting the i's and crossing the t's. — Maria Thibodeau

“Basically, everything is coming back, the major stuff is coming back, with the exception of the racing pigs,” Ms. Lynch said.

“It feels like a dream,” Agricultural Society president Brian Athearn told the Gazette, expressing his excitement at the return of the traditional event. He added: “The volunteers are doing above and beyond what should be expected. The staff is working around the clock, and we’re coordinating with the board of health on a daily basis to make sure that we’re doing everything in the safest possible way for the community.”

Fair entry forms are due by 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 15. A drop box for forms is outside the hall.

Non-perishable entries and junior entries are due at the hall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on August 18.

The fair opens at 10 a.m. Thursday, with a parade of working steer and oxen at 10:30 a.m. The hall will open at about 2 p.m., or whenever judging is complete. Other events Thursday include sack races and music with John O’Toole, Blue Yonder and the Brothers McMahon. Friday highlights include judging of poultry and rabbits, the draft horse pull, a corn husking competition and music with the Convertibles, thee Roundabouts and the Jaywalkers. Saturday events include the woodsmen’s competition, a clam and oyster shucking contest and music with the Dock Dance Band, and Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. Sunday the fair closes out with the popular dog show and women’s skillet toss. Events end at 6 p.m. that day.

Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for children aged 5-12, $6 for seniors (over 62) and veterans. Children under four are admitted free.

Ag Society leaders said they hope to end the summer right with the fair.

“It’s a celebration of the summer, it’s like the last hurrah before everyone gets back to school,” Ms. Lynch said.

“The community needs something like this, and I think that we’re going to try to provide it,” Mr. Athearn added.

For more information and to buy tickets in advance, go to marthasvineyardagriculturalsociety.org/the-fair.