”Tis the season. In Connecticut’s rural Litchfield Hills, harvest time means the region’s favorite end-of-summer celebrations, old-fashioned country fairs. On weekends from late August to mid-October, these much-loved traditional events will feature farm shenanigans from racing pigs to tractor pull competitions, competition for blue ribbons for prize animals and crops, midway rides, non-stop entertainment and plenty of good food.
All the fairs include judging of prize sheep, cows, pigs and goats, a rare chance for city and suburban youngsters to see fine farm animals close-up. Many of these events have been attracting families for generations. The Goshen Fair has been a tradition for over 107 years, the Bethlehem Fair has been offering up family fun for 94 years the Riverton Fair dates back to 1909, and the granddaddy of them all, the Harwinton Fair, is past its 160th birthday.
Almost every fair offers tractor pulls and lumberjack contests that send chips flying, but each event also has its own unique attractions. Fair-goers in Bethlehem can see wood chopping contests, antique tractor pulls, horse shows and even a Hollerin Contest! Goshen’s antique barn is a perennial draw for its demonstrations of handcrafts such as quilting, weaving, and basketry. Special contests at the Goshen Fair include a frozen t-shirt contest, hay bale toss, pie-eating contest, and skillet throw contest! The last major fair of the season, the Harwinton Fair is known for its country store and working blacksmith shop. The Riverton Fair, now in its 109 -year has a pie-eating contest and women’s skillet throw, lumberjack competition, rides and several drawings that include a bicycle and a Hitchcock Chair.
Litchfield Hills Country Fair Schedule
Goshen Fair August 31 – Sept. 2, Bethlehem Fair September 6-8, the Harwinton Fair October 4-6, and the Riverton Fair, October 11-13.