The Bondville Fair, set for Aug. 23-25, celebrates its 222nd year on the same fairgrounds as the first gathering of the Winhall Industrial Society in 1797. It is one of Vermont’s oldest traditions and the oldest continuous agricultural fair in the U.S.
For more than two centuries, the fair has become a favorite event for folks living in or visiting southern Vermont who enjoy the opportunity to see animal pulls, listen to local bands, pet happy goats, smell the incredible flower arrangements, or simply stroll along the midway amid the hubbub and whirling lights of the carnival rides.
Local produce, cooking specialties, artistic endeavors, and original works will once again be judged and on display, free of charge, at the Ailene Capen Floral Hall.
The Bondville Fair Quilt Show runs all weekend in the Elizabeth Chichton Quilt Hall. Any quilt, Vermont-made or not, old or contemporary, is welcome to be entered. Youth quilts can be “works in progress” and still be admitted to the show.
The 2019 Exhibit Hall Categories — unchanged since the 1930s — are:
• Floral Hall (Adults, three entries per category only. Children under 16, unlimited): Vegetables, fruits, eggs, cut flowers, plants, hay, preserves and pickles, baked goods, bread, needle-craft, clothing, photography, and arts and crafts (must have been created within two years and not been awarded a cash prize at the Bondville Fair.)
• Quilt Hall: Hand stitch, machine stitch, tied stitch, contemporary, antique (pre-1960 are not judged, but much loved), best group quilt, and the People’s Choice Award.
Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded for first ($4), second ($3), and third ($2) place in each category, with rosettes awarded for outstanding effort.
Children under 16 are judged separately in the Vegetable and Arts & Crafts categories. Children’s quilts are judged separately for the show. Quilts may rotate in the Hall to allow all to be seen throughout the show. Quilts exhibited in the last five years won’t be eligible for awards.
Entries for both Halls are accepted Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. Two items per category for adults are allowed, with unlimited entries for vegetables, fruit, and all children’s items in all categories. Judging will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on Friday.
The Hall is open for viewing from noon, Aug. 23, and opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entries must be picked up on Sunday afternoon by 4 p.m. at the latest.