August 12, 2020

No Topsfield Fair? Do it Yourself with These Fun Ideas

by joeyphoenix

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New Englanders have bemoaned the loss of many things this year: baseball games, concerts, going out to eat mask-free; but very few things have hit as hard as the news that the Topsfield Fair won’t open for the season.

“Since America’s Oldest Fair began in 1818, it has only been canceled two other times,” said The Essex Agricultural Society in their 2020 fair update. “In 1918 all agricultural fairs in the state were canceled due to a worldwide influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu) and again during 1943-1945 for World War II.”

They are hopeful that, like in 1946, when the fair reopens in 2021 it will be with record-breaking attendance. One can only hope that between now and then they can add more parking.

But since New Englanders can’t get there this year (and something to do with lemons and lemonade) we’ve come up with a handful of ways for you to get that fair feeling at home or in your communities while still being smart about health and safety.

Fry up Some Funnel Cake

Many people would argue that the best thing about a fair is the food. Deep-fried oreos, corn dogs, German fries, and funnel cake are all fast favorites that make your mouth go “wow” and everything else want to get up and quit.

Vegan Funnel Cake from Veggie Rose

Here is a quick recipe for funnel cake (with or without the funnel), and here is the vegan version.

Spy on Farm Animals at Russell Orchards

You may not be able to hold a baby chick, but you will be able to see chickens and barnyard friends at Russell Orchards. You can feed the animals (they’ll provide, don’t bring your own) in between eating cider donuts and picking your own fruit. Click here to see what they offer.

View an Observation Hive or Learn about Candle Making with Beverly Bees

All things Bee purveyor Beverly Bees just opened a new shop on Artists’ Row in Salem. Not only will they have honey, beeswax, soap, and candles for sale, but they also plan to offer an observation hive and candle making demonstrations throughout the fall.

Follow them on Facebook to find out when they will begin these offerings.

Grow Your Own Monster Gourd

You may not be able to admire the largest pumpkin at the fair, but you can absolutely grow your own. The best time to plant a pumpkin was in July, the second best time to plant a pumpkin is right this minute.

Here are some tips on how to do it well.

Not up to growing massive pumpkins? Here are some fun art projects to make out with vegetables:

Make Sand Castles at Your Local Beach

While you won’t be able to see the massive sand castle, you can absolutely make your own. Bring a shovel and a pail and get to crafting – slightly wet sand is the best to work with.

If you need some inspiration, check out some of the world’s coolest sandcastles, or if you want to make the best sandcastle ever, here are some tips for how to do just that.

And when you’ve done all that, give yourself a ribbon for participation because you’re doing great.