Village Fair Days grace New Milford Green
By Susan Tuz
Crowds of people from near and far strolled the Village Green last Friday and Saturday to savor the sights, smells and shops that are part of the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce's annual Village Fair Days.
Many celebrated the chance to catch up with friends and family, with each evening bringing a chance to listen to the talents of singers in the New Milford Idol competition.
Then there was the eye-catching sight of Tim Barnes, a juggler with Creative Creations, who was a walking billboard decorated head to body in psychedelic paint and designs.
For all 38 years of her life, Ms. Kouloganes said she has been coming to the annual fair to shop at the various vendors, taste foods that are not on the healthy-diet list, and reminisce over old times with friends.
"The smells are great,'' Ms. Morin said.
Nearby, Carol and Richard Mulhare were enjoying barbecued pulled-pork sandwiches.
"We always come for the food,'' Carole said.
Both enjoy the fair, but Richard said he would prefer if the booths were turned around so people walked along the streets rather than trampling the green. Yet he said he suspects he is alone in that opinion.
Still, the Mulhares said they haven't missed the event in about 37 years.
"It's a good gathering spot,'' Richard said.
For 8-year-old Tommy King, the fair is one of the treats of summer.
His favorite things to do include visiting the various community booths at the south end of the Green --- many that offer special give-away gifts -- and the food. His favorites are the freshly-squeezed lemonade and hot dogs.
This year, Tommy and his mother, Christi, were exposing the newest member of their family, 9-month-old Miranda, to the festivities.
"Where do you ever see thousands of people in a good mood?'' said Bill Babbino, the Chamber president. Rain or shine, he said, "We make them smile.''
New Milford engineer Paul Szymanski, whose firm, Arthur Howland & Associates, had a drawing for a $250 shopping spree at any local business, said he loves the fair because it is the one time "when the whole community comes together.''
Fourteen-year-old Tricia Clady said, for her, the fair is all about hanging out with friends, and the chance to buy "some cool things.''
"We just love the fair,'' said jewelry vendor Marge Albright of Brewster N.Y. "We meet just lovely people.''
Feastin' at the fair
(Spectrum page 1 text)
Reminiscent of scenes in so many Norman Rockwell paintings, the Village Fair Days crowd look on in delight and amazement Saturday afternoon on the Village Green in New Milford as hungry warriors in the St. Peter's Masonic Lodge chicken wing-eating contest do their best Takeru Kobayashi impression. Eric Crosskey, left, of New Milford gets into it quickly and emerges as the champion, eating 24 wings in less than five minutes, though pressed by the efforts of fellow competitors such as Steve Szilagi, to Eric's left, and Brandon Sheehan. For more Village Fair Days photos, see pages S6-7.