WILTON, Conn. – For the last 82 years the Grange in the Cannondale section of Wilton has brought people from around Fairfield County to celebrate and learn about agriculture in our area.
“It’s a fun family event,” said Grange Leader John Kriz of New Canaan. The small local fair, held on Sunday, Aug. 24, has things that might be found at larger state fairs, Kriz said. Judges give out ribbons to bakers, vegetable growers, craft artists and even to chickens and rabbits.
The judges are found by asking friends and neighbors who have expertise in one area or another, Grange President Doug Shepherd of Ridgefield said.
“The ladies who judge the sewing know exactly what they’re looking for,” Shepherd said, because they’ve been sewing and knitting for years.
But it’s not just about the competitions. For some of the vendors participating in the annual Agricultural Fair it's about education.
Rabbit breeder and Wilton resident, Wendy Griffin says that she likes to bring her rabbits to help teach the kids about the animals.
“We like to promote awareness,” Griffin said. And this way, “there are animals for the kids to pet.”
She has been participating in the fair for the last three years, but has been coming for longer and its one of her favorite fairs of the season.
It’s one of goat hearder and soap maker Rick Agee’s favorites as well, but because it’s less busy than some of the bigger shows. He brings a baby goat with him to all the fairs, but it’s the smaller ones that let him teach the kids about the animals.
“The big shows can be overwhelming for the goats,” Agee said, and generally won’t let the kids pet them at those. But at the Wilton Grange, the kids are welcome to pet the goat and find out more about them.
Norwalk resident Jennifer Tingetts said that this was the second year she and her family had come to the Wilton Grange.
“We always look for the small local fairs,” she said, and with her 21-month old daughter it’s a great opportunity to let her pet the animals and run around in a safe environment.
The Agricultural Fair was one day only, but returns every year to the Grange in Cannondale, for more information on the Grange visit their website here.