Sunday, September 28, 2008

Final Fall Fair

The rain finally subsided, so we headed out for something to eat, and something to do. Hawley's Restaurant in Belchertown provided the first destination.

Great home cooked-type food. From there it was a short skip up the hill to the annual Belchertown Fair, being held at the town common. Yestserday's rains must have kept a lot of people away because today, it was jam packed.

We did a quick tour of the grounds, stopping in at various tents and exhibits. This young entertainer belted out a famous song usually reserved for more jaded adults...

We continued on, and stopped in at the grange hall for a look at some prize winning arts and crafts. Here's something to do with that old sneaker.

From the hall we stopped at a couple of the livestock tents to see some critters, like this big rabbit. This really big rabbit.

And this soft rabbit. This really soft rabbit:

A Velveteen Rabbit, as it's owner called it. I can see where it got the name, as the fur on him was plush. This young lady manages to make cuter one of the cutest animals in the farm world.

The chicken tent provided a good variety of fowl, from the well manicured and poised...

To the Keith Richards of the chicken kingdom.

Kelly noted that these guys must be nervously counting down the days...

The clouds throughout the afternoon were coming and going, but it looked like there'd be a good break in the rain.

The weather was certainly good enough for the oxen pulls. We found seats a little early, and settled in to witness the pregame show, featuring some of the up and coming farmer/oxen teams.

The main event got started, and looking around at the competitors, these bad boys looked like the ones to beat.

Not that the smaller teams shirked from the challenge. From what I could tell, the idea is that each team has three tries to pull the loaded sled each round. The distance is measured, and pulling more than six feet automatically gets you into the next round. Each team has a try at pulling the blocks, which begin at 3000 lbs, and more 1000lb blocks are added to the sled after each round, until only one team can pull the load, or pull it the farthest, for the blue ribbon.

With each one of those concrete blocks weighing 1000 lbs, that's four tons these two are pulling.

Here's the struggle to pull just 3000 lbs:

We were sure those two huge oxen mentioned earlier would carry the day, and decided to head off for one more walk around, before leaving. We've checked out several fairs this year, more than I remember ever going to in a single year. So it was a little bitter-sweet leaving this one, as it's probably the last we'll see until next autumn; so far away...

1 comment:

Mary E.Carey said...

Love the huge rabbit and the Keith Richards chicken. Those dramatic clouds in the background are really something. I noticed some clouds like that when I was driving back to Amherst from Northampton at about 1:30 today.