EAST AMWELL TWP. -- There are more than 300 reasons to visit the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair.
That’s the number of young people involved in the county 4-H program, and just about every member will participate in this year’s fair, which runs Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 23-27. The 18th annual fair takes place at the Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds at South County Park on Route 179 near Ringoes.
This year’s fair will include special tributes to Mr. Everitt, its president from the start, who died in March at the age of 86. In honor of his work to organize the fair, the Freeholders at their meeting Aug. 1 voted to name the fairgrounds for him.
Besides the dozens of contests for 4-H members, the fair offers plenty of shows open for the public to enter. One that always attracts scores of entries is the Biggest Specimen Show, for vegetables and fruits. A perennial favorite, it has 38 classes ranging, from the biggest beet to the longest carrot to the largest sunflower head. And there's also a class for what the judges determine is the "most unusual-looking" vegetable. Separately, there’s a show to select the best vegetable and fruit specimens, based on uniformity, quality and other attributes.
Other public shows include 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. There are tractor pulls Wednesday morning and evening of the fair, along with a garden tractor pull set for Saturday morning. Some entries must be taken to the fairgrounds on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The website at HunterdonCountyFair.com has details on all the shows.
The Wednesday night tractor pull (which includes a pickup truck class) is the only event with a charge, $5 per spectator. Fair admission is free and includes all the Main Stage entertainment shows. Parking is $10 per vehicle; the money is shared with the volunteer fire companies whose members supervise the parking fields. The fairgrounds is at 1207 Route 179.