NEW MILFORD - Bill and Frances Babbino like a big party. The more, the merrier.

That's why they volunteered eight years ago to plan the town's biggest celebratory bash - Village Fair Days.

Right now, they are in the thick of preparing for the 38th annual fair that begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 29 and runs through 10 p.m. the next day.A ribbon cutting by Mayor Patricia Murphy
will start the fair and the Jerry Gerst Band will be the last act Friday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the New Milford Parks & Recreation 8K Road Race starts at 9 a.m. and the fair closes at 10 p.m.


"As in the past, it's going to be the one time of the year when all of New Milford and the surrounding areas, and as far away as New Jersey and Maine, can get together in our downtown area and enjoy the pleasantries of a fine arts and craft show, a merchant show, musical show, a wonderful food court and the presentation of our town,'' said Babbino, the president of the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce.


For Bill Babbino, Village Fair Days is like a spring blossom.

"The flower just opens up, and all of a sudden the downtown is converted into a super place,'' Babbino said.


A few townsfolk might grumble about the traffic, but most seem to enjoy the festivities, which include offerings of nearly every foodstuff imaginable, bingo, body massage, magic shows, fine arts and crafts vendors, political booths, and lots of music.

Proceeds from the fair are donated to the John Pettibone Scholarship Fund . At the fair's end, three scholarships of $2,000 each will be awarded.


For children, there will be a fun run sponsored by Double Dragon Dojo; a performance by Jerry Hornak the magician; a demonstration by Northern Star Karate; and a hands-on pollution program called "Down the Storm Drain,'' presented by the Housatonic Valley Association.

For people concerned about their physical well-being, there will be a Friday morning program called "Straighten Up America,'' offered by Dr. Nestor Mejias.

For the civic-minded, there will be a tour of Town Hall given by Probate Judge Martin Landgrebe and information booths representing the Republicans , the Democrats and the Green Party.

For parents, the Police Department and the Rotary Club will offer an Amber Alert Child Identification Program in the lower level of Town Hall just across the green.


For the astrologically concerned, a psychic reader will tell fortunes.

Not to mention stage shows of local dance and theater groups, an assortment of some 68 business and organizational booths with sample products, and more than 100 vendors.

For the Babbinos, now is the time when they can celebrate that most of the year's worth of hard work and planning is done. It's now just the last minute odds and ends.

A bit of cooperation from Mother Nature wouldn't hurt, either.

"Now it's anticipation," Fran Babbino said. "Now it's watching it all come together on the green. And then I eat my way from one end to the other.''