The 42nd Village Fair Days was spectacular.

Did you happen to catch New Milford Idol under the big tent on Friday and Saturday nights (July 24-25)?

Wow! The talent, the crowd, the applause and the enormous prize checks, thanks to our sponsors -- All American Waste and The First National Bank of Litchfield -- all were impressive.

Behind the scenes of Village Fair Days

There are things you might not realize about Village Fair Days.

Plans are already underway for the next one, the 43rd.

The committee meets year-round. Anyone interested in being part of the committee is encouraged to contact me at the Chamber of Commerce.

We typically meet once a month on a Wednesday night at the railroad station.

Village Fair Days is sponsored by the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce and gives Chamber members and local businesses the opportunity to showcase and promote their businesses and services to the general public.

However, business marketing is not the sole purpose of the fair.

Many, many organizations, non-profits, clubs, civic groups and churches also participate in Village Fair Days.

Some of these groups participate strictly to provide information to the community, while others use Village Fair Days as a major fund-raising source.

The groups that participated in the 2009 fair include the Rotary Club of New Milford, Water Witch Hose Co. No. 2, the New Milford Lions Club, Our Lady of the Lakes Church, the Woman's Club of Greater New Milford, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the VFW of New Milford, the Army National Guard, St. Francis Xavier Church, The Pratt Nature Center, Sunny Valley Preserve, the New Milford United Methodist Church, Sullivan Farm/New Milford Youth Agency and Girl Scout Troop No. 271.

Also, the MVP-SOS Foundation Inc., the Knights of Columbus, St. Peter's Masonic Lodge, the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, the Animal Welfare Society, the New Milford Farmland Preservation Committee, the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, The First Assembly of God, the New Milford PTO, the New Milford Public Library, the New Milford Dog Park Committee, Faith Academy, Cub Scout Pack No. 467, the Village Center for the Arts and the New Milford Recreation Association.

All of these groups are made up of hardworking, dedicated individuals who donate their time and talents to the community. In one way or another, the money that these groups raise during Village Fair Days goes back to our community.

Your support of the fair and the groups that participate in the fair allows them to give back.

So next year when you're at the fair and eating a hot dog from Water Witch Hose Co. No. 2, pizza from the New Milford Lions Club, fried dough from the Rotary Club, or playing a game of Bingo at the Knights of Columbus tent, remember, besides having a great time, eating fun fair food, catching some fabulous entertainment under the big tent, and catching up with friends you haven't seen since the previous fair, you are supporting our community.

It really is all about the community. No community -- or group or business -- ever stands still; you either proceed or recede. As businesses, civic groups, non-profits, clubs and organizations, when we come together for the good of the community, we all win.

The committee

Besides organizing and running the fair, the Village Fair Days Committee also uses the fair as a fund-raising source.

Many years ago, the committee decided to run raffles to raise money to donate to the John Pettibone Scholarship Fund in order to help our local students further their education.

Over the past 12 years, the committee has donated more than $48,000 to the scholarship fund.

We've done all kinds of raffles -- cars, trips, New Milfordopoly games.

This year the committee sold glowsticks to raise money. Your participation in our fund-raisers is greatly appreciated. The more money we raise, the more money we can give away.

A great big, shout-out-loud thank you goes to the Village Fair Days Committee.

They work throughout the year, as well as the week leading up to and the two days of the fair, to make it an enjoyable experience for the people of New Milford and all the visitors who come to our town.

The Chamber extends its gratitude to them and thanks all who help make Village Fair Days such a spectacular event!

Also, thank you to all the people who come to the fair. You are the reason it happens and has happened for the past 42 years.

The 2009 Village Fair Days Committee included Bill & Fran Babbino, Bill Anderson, Haley Bianca, Frank Bidetti, Samantha O'Halloran-Camilleri, John Carideo, Eleanor Covelli, Mike DeCrenza, Carrie Dubray, Michele Gasiewski, Michael Gold, Bob Hanna (treasurer), Hector Hernandez, Joanna Hernandez, Natalie Hernandez, Ron Hulse, Herman Izzard, James Kerney, and Ray Kerney (co-chairman).

Also, Sergio Liguori, Teddi Marici, Police Chief Colin McCormack, Bill Moffett, Vin Nolan, Darren Piper, Tammy Reardon, Tom Reardon, Jayson Roberts, Linda Romano, Tyler Sartwell, Marion Smith, Stephen Smith, Phil Spillane, Kurt Thoennessen (chairman), Joe Valedon, Justin Young and myself.

I'd also like to thank all those individuals, especially the overwhelming number of youth we had this year, who volunteer before for set-up of the fair and after for clean-up. Your generous service to your community is greatly appreciated.

Your invitation

Again, I extend an invitation to you or anyone else interested in being part of this wonderful committee.

Contact me at the Chamber of Commerce at 860-354-6080 or e-mail nmcc@newmilfordchamber.com.

Joining this committee will be an experience you will never forget. You aren't just a committee member, you're family. Everyone is welcome.