From Piglets to Plump Tomatoes, Fair Honors Best in Show
Remy Tumin

Muriel the pig was pregnant and a month overdue, and as the first day of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair approached, Fred Fisher Jr. had to make a decision whether to bring the three-year-old sow or not.

“I took a big gamble doing it,” Mr. Fisher said on Monday. “I could have lost them all up there, but it turned out pretty well.”

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Fair Draws Near Record-Breaking Attendance
Ivy Ashe

During the last hour of the 152nd Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair on Sunday, a drizzly rain began to patter the ground. The exhibit hall closed and the animals in the barn and fiber tent were loaded into their trailers. Someone played Taps on a bugle. But the midway remained open and active, and rides still zipped and zoomed, flashing their colorful lights. Fairgoers continued to roam the booth area, eating corn on the cob, burgers and cotton candy. The fair comes only once a year, after all, and it was only a little bit of rain.

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152 Years Young, Agricultural Fair Remains Highlight of Summer
Ivy Ashe

The gates opened on Thursday morning for the 152nd annual Agricultural Fair, and within minutes the livestock judging was underway, six horses cantered around the show ring, and a person scaled the portable rock wall at the edge of the food area.

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Word to Fairgoers: All Roads Do Lead There
Sara Brown
Nothing, not even a partial road closure and some imposing detour signs, will keep people from the fair. That’s the hope of Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society as the 152nd annual Livestock Show and Fair begins today at the West Tisbury fair grounds on Panhandle Road.
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Big, Buff and Ready to Rough It, Draft Horses Get the Job Done
Remy Tumin

Nothing so gentle as real strength, nothing so strong as true gentleness.

“That’s what we say about draft horses,” Bruce Marshard said, standing next to one of his Percheron horses, Sonny. His pasture mate and fellow Percheron Max was grazing nearby.

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Agricultural Fair Arrives in West Tisbury

On Thursday, August 15, the corn dogs come to town. So does the Ferris wheel, Robinson’s racing pigs, goat and swine exhibits, woodsmen’s competition, chop stick knitting contest, the list just keeps going on and on as the 152nd Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Livestock Show and Fair begins.

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Ferris Wheel Proposal Tops the Fair
Olivia Hull

On Thursday at around 7 p.m., Marques Rivers was seen fiddling with something in his pocket. He stood beside his girlfriend of almost five years, Sarah Neubert, waiting to board the Ferris wheel at the Agricultural Fair. It was their annual “date ride” they said, the one they always take the first day of the fair. Ms. Neubert, who is mildly afraid of heights, was nervous, but not nearly as nervous as Mr. Rivers. Minutes later, just as she had summoned the courage to look up from her hands and take in the view from atop the wheel, the ride stopped.

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Fair Celebrates Old Traditions, Welcomes New
Olivia Hull and Tara Keegan
On opening day of the 151st Agricultural Fair, Joseph and Jonathan Ruzzo, ages seven and four respectively, ran back and forth from the big barn to the judging stand, each time carrying a new set of goats in their arms. They wore knee-high rain boots and looked like seasoned pros, although this was their first time participating in the fair.
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Masters of the Midway Brought the Fair to Life

Excerpted from Bountiful: A History of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society and the Livestock Show and Fair, by Susan Klein, with photographs by Alan Brigish (Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, 2012).

This excerpt is taken from chapter 9 which tells the story of the midway and how it came to play an integral part of the annual Island tradition.

“My favorite was the Scrambler! It was really fun!”

— Dylan Biggs, 7 years of age

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Crescendo Builds for Agricultural Fair
Olivia Hull and Tara Keegan

Standing before the Enter sign at the Agricultural Society fairgrounds the week before the annual fair, there is a strong sense of anticipation. There’s not much to see. Foot-tall pink flags mark the spots for the vendors that will sell food and goods on the lawn. A few rides sit folded in the corner of the property. People drift in and out of the hall, submitting entries. The commotion is only beginning.

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