EAST AMWELL, NJ – All kinds of family fun is planned for the 18th annual Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair, which runs Wednesday, Aug. 23 through Sunday, Aug. 27 at Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds, South County Park, Route 179 just south of Ringoes.
More than 300 county 4-H members will participate, along with scores of 4-H club leaders and other adults, mostly Hunterdon residents, who organize various aspects of the non-profit fair.
Besides shows for 4-H club members, there are many contests open for public entries, such as the Biggest Specimen Show, for vegetables and fruits. It has 38 classes along with one for the "most unusual-looking" vegetable. Separately, there are shows to select the best vegetable and fruit specimens and contests for quilting, needlework, rug hooking and the like; jellies, preserves, baked goods and antique farm tractors. Farmers can compete with their field crops, dairy cows, beef cows and goats and take part in tractor pulls. The website at HunterdonCountyFair.com has details on all the shows.
There are two tractor pull contests (daytime and evening) on opening day. The night version includes a contest for 4-wheel-drive trucks. Garden tractors compete on Saturday and on Sunday, kids get to test show leg power in the Pedal Tractor Pull, with the Fair providing the tractor.
In a promotion for the dairy farmers, county Dairy Princess Gianna Novak of Delaware Township and her court will give a different milk product during certain hours each afternoon at the Dairy Den, including ice cream sundaes on Friday.
The Community Services tent features non-profits and government organizations. The Friends of the Hunterdon County Library booth, near the entrance, offers a "fishing" activity for kids, with free books as prizes. This entertains them while the parents can learn about the activities and accomplishments of the Friends. As a major fundraiser they hold a spring Book Sale, at the fairgrounds the past several years, to raise money for library improvements, book scholarships and other activities.
All kinds of Main Stage entertainment is planned. Dan "Dr. D" Torrone of Clinton, a former Hunterdon 4-H Sheep Club member, arranges the stage activities and plans a variety of acts and attractions each day and night. There’ll be country, bluegrass, oldies and musical tribute groups, Bob Lloyd’s “More Than Magic”, the Happy Tappers senior tap dance group, “Bert the Nerd” thrill show, a Mexican Mariachi band and a Hawaiian fire dance show.
“Hunterdon’s Got Talent” each day showcases residents displaying their abilities in singing, playing instruments and so forth. And “4-H Live on Stage” features members demonstrating or discussing something related to their projects. The “Farm-to-Table auction” of items produced by 4-H members will take place Saturday evening. A big fireworks show is set for Friday night.
The Wednesday night tractor pull is the only event with a charge, $5 per spectator. Fair admission is free and includes all the Main Stage shows. Parking is $10 per vehicle; the money is shared with the volunteer fire companies whose members supervise the parking fields.