Agricultural Fair

jonathan ruzzo

Fair Celebrates Old Traditions, Welcomes New

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.

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

table eleanor neubert

Crescendo Builds for Agricultural Fair

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.


They'll Be the Judge of That at the Fair

The names of judges at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair are largely kept anonymous for fear of bullying, bribery or heckling. There is one livestock judge from off-Island who goes by Steve, although no one can recall his last name. But a handful of judges agreed to talk to the Gazette before they assume judging duties on the fair grounds in West Tisbury later this week as the 151st annual fair gets under way.

Fair entrees will begin arriving on Wednesday afternoon, judging taking place that evening and Thursday morning in the main hall.

Fred Fischer horses

At Last, Fair History Explored and Explained

The first Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair was held on October 26, 1858: it was announced on September 15 of that year. And thus began a pilgrimage that would be unfamiliar in nature though familiar in spirit to modern-day fairgoers: 1,800 people made their way to the Grange Hall in West Tisbury by horseback, in wagons or on foot.

Seeds of Love for Agricultural Fair Sown at an Early Age

Every kid that grew up here has his or her own memories of the Agricultural Fair. From the oxen pull and skillet-throwing contest, to the rides and games, and, of course, the food, for four days in August the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is the place to be.

ride ag fair 1969

The Ag Fair: Better Every Year for 150

The smell of hay and cotton candy, the lowing of cows, the dusty August air blowing through barn doors, ruffling your hair. The scratching of a horse against a stall, the whirring of the Ferris wheel.

Thousands of stitches hanging over the barn beams, the pride of dropping off an entry, no matter the age. Echoes of footsteps on the wide floorboards, wet grass tickling bare feet.

Ho, to the Fair!

Ho, to the Fair!

Only about a month to go: The 150th Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair and Livestock Show opens Thursday, August 18, at 9 a.m.

Fair fans can now follow the event on Facebook (Martha’s Vineyard Ag Fair) to get a steady stream of updates, information, photos and more.

Kara Shemeth

Busy as Popcorn on Tossed Skillet For Visitors to Agricultural Fair

Iron skillets sailed through the air, tractors pulled their hardest, knives shucked away at oysters and saws worked their way through logs this past weekend at the 149th annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair. And although the rides have headed to the ferry, the animals have all been returned to their barns and the artwork is off the walls of the great hall, the people who participated in all these events will be back for more next year.


All’s Fair in Four Days of Fun, Funnelcake

As a four-piece horn band serenaded the crowd to the tune of America the Beautiful yesterday morning, kids hurried over to the booth to buy ride tickets, parents applied sunscreen and food vendors began to fire up the grills. With a clear blue sky backdrop, the 149th annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society fair opened for fun times and long-lasting memories.