The Mountain Times

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Ten days of fun at The Fair

The Vermont State Fair carries on a long history of entertainment with deep roots

Aug. 30 - Sept. 8 - RUTLAND - The smell of fried dough is in the air and the Ferris Wheel rises high over the fairgrounds; eager children beg their parents to go - one last summer treat just as schools have started. With dare-devil rides, pig races, a petting zoo, demolition derbies, and Travis Tritt; the allure is strong.
The fair and its roughly 100,000 annual visitors, bring about $8.2 million to the Rutland area, according to the Vermont Department of Tourism.
The Vermont State Fair opens Friday, Aug. 30 and runs for 10 straight days, through Sept. 8.
In the early days of the fair, which began in 1846 as the Rutland Fair, the focus was primarily on agriculture. (To this day, the Rutland County Agricultural Society owns and operates the fair.) The Rutland Fair officially became the Vermont State Fair in 1855, admission was a quarter. The current fairgrounds off Route 4 in Rutland were created in 1859.
The deed to the fairgrounds stipulates that an agricultural fair must be held once a year on the grounds and, thus far, the city has hosted one all but one year; during the 1917 flu epidemic, the State of Vermont mandated that all such gatherings be canceled for safety.
Although the State Fair today, like most fairs in this day and age, no longer focuses solely on agriculture, its connection to its agricultural remains strong. The exhibitions at the Rutland grounds offer the public a chance to learn about animal husbandry, forestry, gardening, hunting, fishing and many crafts. Oxen pulls, shows and 4-H contests also occur daily.
Admission is $10 for adults and $4 for children and seniors. Discount days are offered on Tuesday, Sept. 3 "Dollar Day," Wednesday, Sept. 4 "Free Day," and Thursday, Sept. 5 "Family Day" ($15/person includes unlimited rides.)
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