Connect:

Topsfield Fair – America’s Oldest County Fair Began in 1818

By Caitlin Dowling, Newburyport.com Correspondent
Caitlin is a freelance editor/writer and former news producer for CNN. As a local mom of three, her family can be found enjoying all Newburyport has to offer, from strolling downtown to biking the rail trail to swimming at the beach.
Topsfield Fair, Topsfield, MA County Fair

The annual Topsfield Fair is back, running from October 1st through October 11th with hundreds of vendors, rides, animals, shows, and special entertainment. Known as America’s oldest county fair, nearly half a million people flock to the festivities each year to enjoy a combination of traditional agricultural exhibits with classic fair fun.

Opened daily over ten days, the Topsfield Fair features a Midway section filled with rides, food, and games. Thrill-seekers can whirl and twirlTopsfield Fair, County Fair, Topsfield, MA on fast-paced rides while families with younger children can hit the kiddie section filled with pint-sized entertainment like small merry-go-rounds and driving cars. The Midway is also home to classic carnival games. Rides and games are not included in admission. You can purchase ride packs in advance for a discount or just pay as you go at the fair.

Fair-goers should also be sure to bring their appetites because the food vendors—situated in the Midway—will not disappoint. Topsfield Fair has everything from sandwiches to desserts, and many unique treats with a county fair twist. Try out some chocolate covered bacon, sample fried kool-aide, or indulge in some farm-fresh apple crisp.

Topsfield Fair, County Fair Topsfield, MAThe Topsfield Fair was founded by the Essex County Agriculture Society back in 1818 so it comes as no surprise that farming and animals are a major part of this county fair.  Visit with tiny piglets, sheep with their lambs, and other farm animals at the Farmyard tent and stop into the multiple barns throughout the fairgrounds that house cattle, goats, rabbits, chickens, and more. There is even a beekeeping exhibit with observation hives to watch the bees in action. Along with live animals, visitors can also shop fresh produce from local farmers and goods made by local artisans.

Perhaps one of the most famous exhibits at the Topsfield Fair is the All New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off—which is exactly what it sounds like. Farmers from all over compete to earn the title of the heaviest pumpkin and fair visitors get to check out these massive fruits on display. All pumpkins must weigh a minimum of 300 lbs to enter and the heaviest to date weighed in at a whopping 1,689 lbs!

Before planning out your day make sure to take a look at the Topsfield Fair daily calendar which is packed with live entertainment ranging from live musical performances to a demolition derby. There are also live events that go back to this county fair’s agricultural roots like an old fashion tractor pull and sheepdog trials. And if you plan on spending the whole day at the fair, stick around until 5pm for the daily parade around the fairgrounds.

Tickets to the Topsfield Fair, along with ride tickets and food vouchers, can be purchased online in advance at a discounted rate. Discounted tickets can also be purchased for $11 in person at Newburyport Bank’s Newburyport, Salisbury, Newbury, and Amesbury (Friend Street) locations until September 22nd. Children under 8 are always free. Please note that the Town of Topsfield Board of Health has issued a mandate requiring a face covering while inside all building on the fairgrounds, regardless of vaccination status. All pictures used in this article are from the Topsfield Fair facebook page.

 

Skip to toolbar