There’s something new at 66th annual Bridgewater Country Fair
The annual Bridgewater Country Fair returned to Main Street last weekend for its 66th year, this time with some new attractions.
The fair featured all of the fan-favorite classics from previous years, like the judging of livestock, a motocross show, a pig run and carnival-style rides and games.
But newer attractions, like a singles-only gathering, the return of last year’s beer garden, and the inaugural Human Cannonball Thrill Show, were introduced to the approximate 30,000 people that come to the fair each year.
“It was a blast, literally!” Janet Aiello, of Brookfield, said after watching human cannonballer Shawn Marren launch out of a cannon at 60 miles per hour.
Aiello said it was her first time at the fair and first time seeing a human cannonballer in person. She was looking forward to watching the Dock Diving Dogs, where dogs compete for distance-jumping into a pool, and had just come from watching the motocross show.
Her sister-in-law, Diane Mariano, who had come from New York, said her favorite so far was participating in the archery.
“It’s great, there’s so much to do,” Mariano said. “The hands-on things are really fun.”
Mariano and Aiello were among the hundreds that gathered to watch Shawn and Valeria Marren’s human cannonball show. The crowd counted down in unison as Shawn lowered himself into the cannon, set at exactly 40 degrees, then shot into the air.
Shawn flipped before landing on an airbag 18 feet away.
Valeria said she and Shawn, who met while working in the Ringling Bros. Circus, have been performing the act for seven years.
“We became friends with the human cannonball and he bugged them so much that he got them to sell him a cannon,” Valeria said.
Valeria, a former dancer for the circus, acts as Shawn’s assistant, explaining that cannonballing seems too scary to try herself.
“People usually tell us he’s crazy,” she said.
Another favorite at the festival, which is featured every year, was the Livestock Palace, where visitors could pet chickens, cows and pigs that had been judged earlier in the day.
One of the cows was Gia, a yearling that had won a champion title. Sara Pokrywka and her mom, Lisa Lundberg, had brought Gia from their farm in New York.
“We pretty much come every year,” Pokrywka said.
Ticket sales and other fair revenue funds the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department.