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Massachusetts agricultural fair returns after 1-year hiatus

July 7, 2021 GMT

TOPSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A more than 200-year-old Massachusetts agricultural fair canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic is scheduled to return this fall, organizers announced Wednesday.

The 11-day Topsfield Fair, first held in 1818, will start Oct. 1, the Essex Agricultural Society said in a statement.

“Having to cancel last year’s Topsfield Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating,” General Manager James O’Brien said. “We are thrilled to announce that the fair will return this year with no restrictions and we look forward to seeing everyone on the fairgrounds in October.”

The fair was previously canceled for three years during World War II and in 1918 because of the worldwide influenza pandemic.

Based on attendance in 1946 after the three-year shutdown, O’Brien expects high attendance this fall. In anticipation, fair personnel have installed additional sinks and hand-sanitizing stations around the fairgrounds north of Boston, he said.

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One of the fair’s most popular events is the giant pumpkin contest, but it also includes livestock exhibits, a midway, vendors, food stalls, and live music. It typically draws up to 500,000 visitors per year.

A schedule for concerts, which are free with fair admission, will be announced soon.