Village Fair Days draws crowds
There was gorgeous weather, healthy and fattening food galore, quirky crafts, a bouncy house for kids, and lots of time to mingle and catch up with neighbors and old friends.
Come evening, many families said, they expected to find seats in the main tent to watch the second annual New Milford Idol competition, which had 15 contenders in adult and youth categories. The winners would be awarded some $2,000 worth of prizes.
"This will be the place to be this weekend. And the New Milford Idol competition will bring them in by the droves," said Priscilla Behling of Danbury, whose son-in-law, Kurt Thoennessen, is one of the fair and competition organizers.
"It is such a gorgeous day for this," said town resident Julie Bailey, while working at the Weantinoge Heritage Trust booth. "This so sums up the vibrancy and diversity of our hometown. I look forward to this every year."
By noon Friday, the green was crowded with thousands of people shopping for jewelry, pottery, stuffed animals, baby towels, specially fired and spiced nuts and kettle corn, or matching clothes for little girls and their baby dolls.
Children filled bottles with decorative sand, posed to have their faces painted, and decorated pieces of pottery. For little tykes, there was the bouncy house, where more than a few were repeat participants.
On the far south end of the green, politicians roamed with balloons and stickers, and local businesses promoted their wares -- everything from dentistry to yoga and sun porches.
Nonprofit groups touted a range of services from environmental efforts to wellness programs.
For those looking for a little luck, there was the ever-popular bingo tent, where people were eagerly trying their hand even early in the day.
All around town there was a festival atmosphere, with residents and visitors alike savoring the fanfare and high-spirited mood of everyone they encountered.
"I think it's really cute. And it's such a beautiful day," said Mallory Rioux, of Seymour, who came to the fair with her mother. "The crowd is awesome here."
At a hand-fired-glass jewelry booth, a smiling Cheryl Caridad admired the "gorgeous" artistry. "I think this is great," she said of the fair. "It's a really, really good community event. It brings a lot of people together."
Fair chairman Bill Babbino, who with wife Fran has headed the event with fellow Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce volunteers for the last 12 years, said he was elated the weather was so grand for his last year in that role.
"I ordered it," Babbino joked of the sunny skies as he sipped a fair favorite, fresh lemonade.
Teen brothers Dan and Gabe Hack were enthusiastic about the offerings and the atmosphere. "This is a good way to socialize. It makes (New Milford) unique," said Dan, 14.
"Everybody's here -- everybody," Gabe concluded.
Contact Nanci Hutson at email@example.com or at (860) 354-2274.
Today's Village Fair events 9 a.m. -- 41st annual 8-mile and Village Fair Days 5k road race. 10 a.m. -- Fair opens. Fine arts, crafts, antiques, business booths, food booths and nonprofit booths. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Amber Alert child identification program at Town Hall. 10:30 a.m. -- Road race awards on stage. 11 a.m. -- Historical walking tour starts at the bandstand. 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- Richter Rising Stars on stage. Noon to 10 p.m. -- Bingo sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on the south end of the green. 1 to 1:30 p.m. -- Harmony Yoga and dance on stage. 2 p.m. -- Historical walking tours starting at the bandstand. 2 to 2:30 p.m. -- Double Dragon Marital Arts Academy demonstration on stage. 3 to 3:30 p.m. -- Studio D performance on stage. 4 to 4:45 p.m. -- Elite Gymnastics on stage. 5:15 to 6 p.m. -- Music by Cash Money Sabotage on stage. 7 to 10 p.m. -- Music by Steppin Out with Curtis T on stage. 8 p.m. -- Village Fair Days scholarship award announcement and New Milfordopoly drawing on stage. 10 p.m. -- Fair closes.