Hopkinton Fair starts Thursday with ‘townie night’ 

Monitor staff

Published: 08-30-2023 1:23 PM

Hay bales decorated like cows, the annual demolition derby, horseback riders shooting at targets, a monster truck show and a few tons of giant pumpkins getting weighed on Thursday night are due to be on display at the 108th Hopkinton State Fair that runs through the Labor Day weekend. 

The Hopkinton State Fair traces its roots back to an agricultural fair in 1915 and has operated in some form since then except during the two world wars and the COVID-19 shutdown of 2020. It has operated on Labor Day weekend for many decades and has been in its current location next to the high school since 1947.

The schedule of events includes multiple agricultural and livestock shows and competitions, including the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off, scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday in the grange hall.

“Treated like a baby, handled with much care – farmers begin their giant pumpkins to our Grange Building for our weight in,” the fair organizers explained online. “Farmers begin each spring planting, pollinating then encouraging each pumpkin toward massive weights hoping to secure the world’s record of 2,624.6 pounds in the fall.”

The Round Hay Bale Decorating Contest will be on display all weekend long. Fairgoers vote on their favorite displays by adding money to designated donation boxes. The winner gets an extra $500 more than the money raised in the donation boxes. 

For those who like a little more octane with their fair experience, a monster truck show can be viewed from the grandstands on Thursday and Friday nights followed by the demolition derby on Saturday and Sunday nights. 

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The fair is open Thursday through Monday rain or shine. The fair cut back to four nights for a few years starting in 2014 but expanded back to five nights in 2021 as part of people’s relief at gathering together again after the pandemic shutdown.

The Lancaster Fair in Coos County also starts on Thursday, while a half-dozen other agricultural fairs are scheduled through September and October.

Hopkinton residents will get free admission for the first two hours of opening day. “Townie Night” will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., although only at the blue and green gates. 

Proper I.D. will get fairgoers a bracelet that will cover anything that admission covers. Payment will still be required for rides and events like the Monster Truck show and Demolition Derby.

Multi-day passes are available for all fairgoers. 

For details, see the website at www.hsfair.org.