ADAMS -- Heat and an obligatory Sunday shower did not deter hundreds from turning out for the 38th annual Adams Agricultural Fair this weekend.
During the four-day festival, Old Columbia Street’s Bowe Field saw old and new vendors, acts, races and other draws, all organized once again by a fair committee that keeps busy year-round putting the event together.
Fresh local produce shared space with traditional and exotic -- think deep-fried Milky Way bars -- fair food while the grounds became a host to live music, farm animals, Zumba sessions, produce and art judging contests, tractor races and a demolition derby, magic, psychic readings and a knife throwing act, as well as a handful of environmental awareness groups.
"I think all the vendors and show people really provide a great background," said longtime fair organizer Patricia Wojcik on Sunday. "Then we try to organize things in a fun and educational way to keep the agricultural and horticultural interest alive."
The biggest new presence at this year’s fair was a 60-by-80 steel pavilion at the field, built in July with grant funds and in-kind service.
Festivities began directly under the new structure with Thursday’s Battle of the Bands, an event that organizers touted as "drawing a different, younger crowd." Boomstick won the battle, and Here Lies Hope took the junior division.
Friday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held and the pavilion dedicated
"It’s an important event for the 38th fair and a positive one for the community," fair organizer Elizabeth Randall said of the pavilion. Wojcik added that "everyone is already thinking of ideas about how to use it at other times of the year." The pavilion is a town structure.
On Saturday, the Aggie Fair Prince and Princess were crowned after the group weathered a tough question-and-answer session. John Stack, 5, of North Adams, and Megan Dubreuil, 7, of Cheshire, earned the distinction. Later in the day, Marvin Marcoulier, of Chesterfield, took home gold in a "Hill Billy" garden tractor drag race.
Sunday saw the highest attendance, as parking lots filled and security and police helped to direct a shuttle bus to and from a nearby parking lot. Crystal Brook filled the air with bluegrass music as Darryl Kimplin emerged victorious in a well-attended demolition derby. The fair wrapped up with an awards ceremony.
The fair committee reserved praise for town forest wardens, who visited Bowe Field on Saturday and Sunday to water the areas of several events, combating dust. The Boy Scouts were also active all weekend, helping with everything from painting, trash cleanup and bleacher moving to cleaning the cow barn.
As the fair wound down Sunday, organizer Barbara Bennett took stock of all the food items that had been judged.
"That must be the best job here," Bennett said. "Except we don’t get [to work it] officially."