What to look forward to at this year’s Franklin County Fair
GREENFIELD — You might have missed Thursday’s kick-off parade and opening events at the Franklin County Fair, but there’s still a lot to come.
The fair is open for its first full day today, from noon to 9 p.m. The festivities begin with the senior bingo contest, starting at noon, with keyboardist Ruth Fairman, of Whately, provides some afternoon entertainment right until the midway opens at 4 p.m. and keyboardist Shirley Thompson takes over the ivories.
Robinson’s Racing Pigs will put on their porcine grand prix at 1, 3, 5 and 8 p.m., and the Shriners’ clowns will wander the grounds all day. The Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show will perform at 4 and 6 p.m. Comedian, magician and ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher will bring her act to the infield at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Wishbone Zoe will play a set on the community stage at 5:30.
At 6:30 p.m., local country music acts will compete for a spot in the regional round of the Texaco Country Showdown.
If country music isn’t your thing, you can catch the Heart of the Valley Chorus on the community stage at 7 p.m. Closing out the day’s entertainment will be the duo Intonition, made up of Hadley’s Chris Dixon and Danyelle Devino of Eashampton.
A good day starts with a good breakfast, and the judges will have their fill of one fall favorite during the apple pie contest, starting sharp at 8 a.m.
Afterwards, it’s the kids’ turn to compete. Youth rabbit and dairy cattle judgings will be held at 9, with the youth sheep show to follow at 10 a.m. There will also be a kids’ pedal-tractor pull at 2 p.m., with registration starting at 1 in the kids’ tent.
A craft fair will go from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Whately keyboardist Ruth Fairman will play from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other musical acts include Amandla Chorus at 4 p.m., keyboard player Shirley Thompson at 4, Firepond at 5:30, Brian Clayton and the Green River Band at 6, and Lost in the Groove at 8.
Country music acts from New England will vie for a chance to be sent to Nashville for a national competition, when the Texaco Country Showdown’s regional finals start at 4:30.
Students and teachers from the New England Center for Circus Arts will bring the big top to the infield with shows at noon, 2, and 4 p.m.
Ja’Duke dancers will perform at noon, the North County Line Dancers will take the stage at 1, and the Celtic Heels Irish Dance troupe will go on at 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Robinson’s racing pigs return for shows at 10 a.m., 12:30, 2 and 6 p.m., and the Flying High Frisbee Dogs will perform at 11 a.m., 1:30, 4:30, and 7:30 p.m.
There will be plenty of working animals, too. Horse draws will be held at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Gates open at 8 a.m., with the open dairy cattle and sheep shows at 9.
Working oxen and their handlers will compete in sled pulls, with a youth contest at 9, and adult ox pulls at 10 a.m, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
The craft fair will be back for a second day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Several public safety workers will get in on Sunday’s fun.
EMS departments from around the county will parade through Greenfield center and to the fairground, starting at noon. Police K9 handlers will demonstrate their dogs’ skills on the infield at 1:30, and a firemen’s muster will be held at 2 p.m.
Local musicians will play throughout the day, and entertainment will also include the Greenfield Military Band at 12:30 p.m., DJs and dancing, performers from the New England Center for Circus Arts, a ventriloquist, the antics of the Olde Time Lumberjack Show and Robinson’s Racing Pigs, and the High Flying Frisbee Dogs.
All the while, people will be staking out grandstand seats for the day’s big event, the Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $5, and they go quickly. A limited number will be available Sunday.
Admission to the fair is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $7 for kids 9 to 17 and free for those 8 and under.
Parking is $4 for the exterior lot, and $4 inside the fairground. Free off-site parking and shuttle service is available at the Greenfield Corporate Center and Greenfield Savings Bank lots on Munson Street. Shuttles will also stop at the courthouse and court square, leaving every half hour from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.