20210430-LOC-FairFiler

The hair of Brody Keller, 12, of Walpole is blown upward by the hair trimmer he uses on Amel, a calf he was preparing for show at the Cheshire Fair several years ago. Animal shows are among the fair mainstays that will be offered at this year’s edition.

SWANZEY — After a pandemic-related hiatus last year, the Cheshire Fair is returning this summer with a three-day agricultural event, the fair’s organizers announced Thursday.

This year’s event — scheduled for Aug. 6 through 8 — will be a modified version of the annual festival to observe COVID-19 safety protocols, the Cheshire Fair Association said in a news release.

It is technically a separate event from the fair, which has been canceled again, according to the fair association’s vice president, John Kenney. This year would have been the event’s 82nd edition.

Held each summer at the fairgrounds on Monadnock Highway (Route 12) in North Swanzey, the fair is an agricultural festival that also features carnival rides, games, live entertainment, a demolition derby and food vendors.

Some of those activities will remain part of this year’s event, including horse and ox pulls, animal shows, and truck and tractor pulls, according to the fair association. The organization is also arranging other entertainment and a limited number of food vendors, it said.

However, the event will not include carnival rides and other amusement stalls, known as the midway, in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the fair association said.

“Although we know that many of you will be disappointed with their absence, we feel we will be able to better maintain safety precautions without the midway,” the organization stated in its release. “We hope that next year they will be back as usual.”

Kenney said fair organizers plan to put “some new variation” on traditional events, emphasizing agriculture and encouraging youth participation in a nod to the event’s 4-H legacy.

“We want to try to go back to our roots,” he said.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com.