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Deerfield Fair opens to sun and crowds

Emily Hoyt (left) and Jimmy Small (right) attempt to capture two piglets during the Pig Scramble at the 134th Deerfield Fair in 2010.
(Bryan Thomas/Monitor Staff)

Emily Hoyt (left) and Jimmy Small (right) attempt to capture two piglets during the Pig Scramble at the 134th Deerfield Fair in 2010. (Bryan Thomas/Monitor Staff)

In the weeks preceding the 137th annual Deerfield Fair, two major uncertainties loomed: weather and attendance. Would sunny conditions persist? Would enough people show?

Yesterday, during the four-day event’s kickoff celebration, coordinators got a first glimpse of the answers: yes, and yes.

“Good weather and a lot of people,” Treasurer Bill Marston said. “This is what we’ve been looking for for several years.”

Joining in the festivities were Gov. Maggie Hassan, Deerfield Rep. Maureen Mann, Deerfield Sen. John Reagan and fair President David O’Neal, who is returning to the post after a nine-year hiatus. O’Neal, who owns and manages an auto repair shop in town, ran the operation from 1998 to 2004.

Among the highlights from day one are horse and dairy shows, a cattle pull and the Flying Wallendas family circus, whose members will perform each night through Sunday. (Nik Wallenda, some may recall, crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope in June 2012.)

Though the fair runs through Sunday, today is an especially good day to visit if you’re over 65: Admission for seniors is $7, down from the $10 general ticket price. Children under 12 are free each day, as are all current and former members of the military. (Veterans, bring your IDs.)

And potential visitors should take note of an added incentive this year: the chance to win a John Deere tractor, donated by James R. Rosencrantz & Sons.

The fair runs 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. A demolition derby starts at 5 p.m. Sunday and is included in the price of admission.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter@JBlackmanCM.)

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