Agricultural fairs in New England and throughout the country are synonymous with things like livestock competitions, handmade crafts, feats of strength, toe-tapping music, deliciously caloric food, beauty pageants, carnival rides, and a bustling Midway that comes alive with bright color when the sky turns dark. New England boasts many fairs — from state, to country, to a fair as large as the “Big E” (Eastern States Exposition), but they all fall under the agricultural category.
For space’s sake, here’s a list of the biggest fairs in each state, but we hope you’ll share your favorite fair in the comments!
BIGGEST AGRICULTURAL FAIRS IN NEW ENGLAND
WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIR
Richmond, Rhode Island
Featuring daily concerts, special acts and events, a giant midway and kiddy land area (including New England’s largest traveling roller coaster), agricultural events and shows, exhibits and displays, tractor and horse pulls, the farm museum, and more! washingtoncountyfair-ri.com
VERMONT STATE FAIR
Celebrating agriculture since 1846! Reach new heights on the Ferris wheel, thrill to the action of the demolition derby, try your luck at games of chance, ride the carousel, enjoy 4-H livestock shows, indulge in some tasty treats (fried dough, anyone?), and more! vermontstatefair.net
THE BIG E
West Springfield, Massachusetts
The Big E is the sixth largest agricultural fair in the country, and the largest in New England. Featuring Avenue of the States, Butter Sculpture, contests, rides, endless selections of food, shopping, top entertainment and musical acts, cheese competition, agricultural events and competitions, and much, much, more. You’ve got to visit to believe it! thebige.com
Featuring top entertainment, crafts on the Green, carnival rides and games on the Midway (including the Super Coaster), first-class animal competitions and discovery events on the Corn Stalk Stage, lots to eat, exhibits showcasing livestock, fruits, vegetables, art, crafts, baking, needlework, photography, and more! durhamfair.com
Deerfield, New Hampshire
Featuring tractor pulls, livestock pulls and exhibitions, a demolition derby, the Ms. Deerfield Fair pageant, rides, artisans, your favorite fair food, and 4-H exhibits. A New Hampshire family fair tradition since 1876! deerfieldfair.com
Featuring an impressively large display of oxen and ox competitions, plus livestock shows, harness racing, horse pulling, antique farm equipment displays and demonstrations, gardening and cooking contests and displays, a petting zoo, live musical acts, amusement rides, food, and more! fryeburgfair.com
Which of our picks for the biggest agricultural fairs in New England is your favorite? Do you go for the food? The animals? The rides and games? Let us know!
This post was first published in 2013 and has been updated.