Connecticut’s Durham Fair opens Sept. 22: Here’s what to know

Farm animals and oversized plants will be on display this weekend as the Durham Fair kicks off its 102nd anniversary edition on Thursday.

Scroll down to see what type of entertainment and activities will be on offer at this year’s show.

What are the dates for this year’s Durham Fair?

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The Durham Fair takes place at the Durham Fair Grounds September 22nd to 25th.

What are the attractions at this year’s Durham Fair?

Animal attractions

The agricultural fair has no shortage of animal attractions, with farm animals such as poultry, rabbits, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, dairy cows and beef cattle. The fair has over 12,000 cattle entries each year, according to its website. Guests can see pigs compete and bunnies hop to the finish line. There is also an animal costume parade on Sunday.

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Linguini, a local “celebrity cow” who has been coming to county fairs all her life, will also be participating in the Linguini the Cow BINGO event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this year. The cow has a unique appearance with two protruding teeth and “popped out” eyes. According to Greenbacker Farm farmer Melissa Dziurgot, Linguini is quiet around others and loves attention.

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“I had one person who called her ‘a-dork-able,'” Dziurgot told Hearst Connecticut Media in August.

Melissa Dziurgot of Greenbacker's Brookfield Farm and Linguini the cow in Durham, Connecticut on August 6, 2022.

Melissa Dziurgot of Greenbacker’s Brookfield Farm and Linguini the cow in Durham, Connecticut on August 6, 2022.

Lisa Nichols / For Hearst Connecticut Media

The fair also hosts animal trains, where teams of larger animals such as horses, draft horses, ponies and oxen compete to see who can pull the most weight.

“This [animals] are athletes. These aren’t just pets, these are part of their family. They work them every day,” said Marc D’Orvillers, superintendent of animal trains at the Durham Fair.

car competitions

Not only the animals compete against each other, the fair also has some car competitions. Demolition derbies are held on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with cars crashing into each other to see who comes out on top. Garden, truck and SUV pulls are held on Friday and Saturday, while a monster truck show is held on Sunday.

garden exhibition

The fair also features a Garden of the Giants exhibit where exhibitors display their oversized plants such as squashes, gourds, bushel gourds, and tomatoes. The family of Durham Fair Garden of the Giants, Co-Superintendent Chelsea Cleveland, participated in a 1,777-pound pumpkin that took first place last year.

“You are really amazing. It’s just really nice to see them when they grow. I call them ‘gentle giants,’ they get so big you think they’re almost indestructible, but they’re very fragile,” Durham Fair Garden of the Giants co-superintendent Chelsea Cleveland told Hearst Connecticut Media in August. “You can see a size difference just in the course of walking and coming home from work.”

One of the giant pumpkins growing at the Cleveland Family Farm on August 7, 2022 in Higganum, Connecticut.

One of the giant pumpkins growing at the Cleveland Family Farm on August 7, 2022 in Higganum, Connecticut.

Lisa Nichols / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Classic carnival attractions like the carousel, Ferris wheel, and roller coaster are open for rides. The first day of the fair ends with fireworks.

What food and drink is available at the Durham Fair?

A wine, beer and cider tasting tent featuring products from local producers such as Lyman’s Orchard, Arrigoni Winery, New England Brewing and Jones Winery will be open each day of the event. On Saturday, foodies can learn the “Secrets of Professional Breadmaking” with chef Jonathan Miller and see a display of award-winning sweets.

Which musicians are performing at the Durham Fair this year?

The International Music Stage at the fair will feature performances by Echoes of Sinatra and Dean on Thursday, The Happy Travelers Polka and Lederbrosen on Friday, Sound Pipers and Nosmo Kings on Saturday, and Jukebox45 Show Band and The Hot Club of Black Rock on Sunday .

How much is entry to the Durham Fair?

General admission tickets for one day are available for $12 and a pass for each day of the fair is $35. A Thursday-only ticket is reduced to $10.

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