Tropical storm Henri may have cut the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair short by a day, but it did little to dampen the enthusiasm and dedication of the Island community who make the event possible each year.

On Sunday morning, volunteers worked through the wind and rain to clean up the fairgrounds after the day’s programming had been canceled.

“When we realized we were canceling the fair, we reached out to all the volunteers to tell them that they didn’t need to come in, but we still had a number of people come and say, ‘how can I help?’” said Lauren Lynch, executive director of the Agricultural Society.

Rolling with the sheep. — Ray Ewing

“This is what the Vineyard is. This is what the fair is,” said Garrison Vieira, a vice president of the Agricultural Society’s board of trustees, during the clean-up efforts Sunday morning. “We have so many volunteers and they truly care about the agricultural society and the fair. They’re here because they want to help, because they care about this organization so much.”

As vendors boarded up their booths and tractors pulled away wood sculptures and endless stacks of folding chairs, Melissa Collins wandered across the grounds, carrying a cookie sheet covered with hash-browns and cinnamon rolls.

“Our booth is sturdy and we have a hot oven,” she said of her food stall, Hot Bakes. “We just wanted to thank the volunteers who are out here today, so we’re giving anyone who wants it a hot breakfast.”

Over the course of the previous three days, thousands of visitors flocked to West Tisbury to enjoy the fair’s classic delights— fresh squeezed lemonade, live music, fluffy barnyard animals, carnival rides and local traditions.

Flying Elbows at night, a fair delight. — Ray Ewing

While the tropical storm was a more recent concern, the agricultural society had been working on how to host the event during a pandemic for months. Ms. Lynch expressed appreciation for how attendees followed Covid guidelines and noted a silver lining to the smaller amount of entries this year.

“It really allowed all of the entries to be displayed more prominently,” she said. “There was no overcrowding. You could spend hours in there looking at all the amazing exhibits and everything that people submitted.”

On Saturday afternoon, a crowd gathered outside the hall for the shucking contest. Men and women, professionals and amateurs, brandished their knives and raced to shuck their shellfish as quickly and neatly as possible. Don Rodriguez, a sport fisherman from Buzzard’s Bay, took home a blue ribbon for his clam shucking, his third first place finish in 17 years competing. According to Mr. Rodriguez, decades of practice meant he needed no preparation prior to the big day.

“I haven’t even cut a quahaug this year,” he said.

Letting it rip at the woodsman contest. — Ray Ewing

Also during Saturday afternoon, the pulling ring held the 44th annual woodsmen contest and the tug of war. Axes and chainsaws were wielded in a variety of challenges, including log cutting races and fire building.

Children and adults both competed in the tug of war. In the children’s category, team Barn Flies defeated team Sharks. In the adult category, the Pull Posse, made up of volunteer Tisbury firefighters, faced off against Team Sisco, led by Mike Sisco. Each team was decked out in matching T-shirts for the event, the electric green of the Pull Posse staring down the gray of Team Sisco.

“We’re ready to compete, we’re ready to have fun, and we’re ready to give the spectators a show,” Jason Robinson, Pull Posse team captain, said before stepping into the ring.

Pull Posse bested Team Sisco but then had to face off against the kids before they could claim ultimate victory. The Sharks and Barn Flies banded together to take on the adults, and a prolonged stalemate finally gave way to a win for the children, triggering cheers from the bleachers. Members of the Pull Posse joined in the celebration — for many, their own children were on the opposing team.

Reaching out. — Ray Ewing

Ensuring the safety of all the attendees throughout the three days were the Tri-Town first responders. Recently minted EMT Ashley Moreis grew up going to the fair, but this year was her first time working at it.

“It’s good to be out here, seeing people and helping them if they need you,” she said.

For many volunteers, visitors and vendors, the fair has been a recurring date on their calendar for decades. For vendor Kati Johnsen of Ama Nomad, she looked forward to seeing the friends she has made over her 29 years setting up a fair booth.

“I get to see my customers that come back every year,” she said. “You enjoy the other vendors, which are very important to me... It’s just wonderful.”

And that's a wrap for 2021. — Jeanna Shepard

Ms. Lynch highlighted the tireless efforts of the Island volunteers who bring the tradition to life.

“It’s such an amazing event and all of these people that have been doing it for so long come together and they just kick into high gear,” she said. “They know what they need to do, they know what the end goal is, and if their job is finished, they slide into something else and make sure everyone else is covered.”