Durham Fair 2016 is historic and one of the most exciting in the region. It is the largest nonprofit agricultural celebration of its kind and kicks off annually during the last week in September. Traditional programs with an agricultural focus and a slew of fair food, exhibits, activities, and special events are lined up over the course of the weekend. Hauling competitions, livestock shows, midway games, live entertainment, a local handicrafts market, and more are all part of Durham Fair Connecticut events. Some of the most famous acts to have performed include The Guess Who and Loretta Lynn, exhibiting the event’s immense popularity.
Durham Fair History and Facts
In 1916, in the little town of Durham south of Hartford, the very first town agricultural fair was inaugurated. Today it is one of the most important fall festivals happening in the region and is emblematic of the strong agricultural background of Durham’s (and the surrounding area’s) local population. The fair is also the largest fair in the country organized and carried out without any paid staff at all—it is run completely by local volunteers, which are both part of the Durham Fair Association and from civic groups, churches, schools, and other such organizations.
The strong agricultural component enables visitors to enjoy a huge variety of food created from local crops such as corn dogs, chowders, ribs, fresh cut fries, tons of fruit and so much more. Animals are part of the fair with sheep, beef cattle, goats, llamas, rabbits, and a wide variety of poultry to see. There are pony pulls, horse pulls, and other livestock events happening all weekend. Other popular things to do include watching the tractor and truck pulls, main stage concerts, and the rodeo. Shopping, activities at the Kids Place, photography exhibitions, a farm museum, and more are all featured during the Durham fair Connecticut weekend.
Tickets to Durham Fair
Both individual tickets to the Durham Fair, as well as weekend passes, are available for three days over the weekend beginning Friday. Friday and Saturday, the fair runs from 9 a.m. through to 10 p.m. and on the last day it opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced in a family friendly way and discounted for seniors. Kids 11 years old and younger receive free admission. There is both a one-day and three-day parking fee option. Durham Fair parking is available nearby with a free shuttle leaving the lot numerous times per day, taking visitors back and forth to the main venue as there is no onsite parking provided.
Directions to Durham Fair
The fairgrounds are located at 24 Town House Road, Durham, Connecticut. Heading in from Hartford, follow the I-91 southbound and merge onto Country Club Road, or Exit 20. Make a left turn at the exit ramp bottom and a left at Country Club Road. Sign postings offer directions to the Durham Fair parking lots in nearby Middlefield. The entire trip is roughly a half-hour.
Lodging Near Durham Fair
Staying in Hartford is one of the best choices when heading to Durham Fair Connecticut events. Hartford hotels include major chains like the Marriott and Holiday Inn. With Hartford being one of the oldest American cities, there are many historic attractions to visit and things to do within the downtown area to add to fair festivities, like Mark Twain House. If taking flights to Connecticut, there are airport hotels that accommodate visitors very well and offer quick access to the fairgrounds.
Image: underwhelmer (flickr)