The Hippo


Oct 16, 2019








For your entertainment
Live performers and rides a mainstay at fairs

By Ryan Lessard

There's no shortage of entertainment at New Hampshire’s state fairs, with options like live music, magic shows, acrobatic acts and rides for all ages.

“There's entertainment all day long, all across the fairgrounds,” said Vicky Avery, who coordinates all the performance entertainment at the Deerfield Fair. 
Miscellaneous acts
Entertainment for the whole family is a mainstay at all the New Hampshire fairs, with magic shows, clowns and sing-alongs.
Among the strolling performers at the Deerfield Fair will be clowns and jugglers, but the main stage, bandstand and relaxation stage will have a number of non-musical acts as well. There will be an on-stage puppet show, a magic show by BJ Hickman and The Mad Science show, an entertaining and educational program for kids.
“It's a really hands-on approach to showing some basic ideas about science. They do experiments and get the kids involved,” Avery said.
The Heart of Gold Vaudeville show at the Deerfield Fair is a one-man show by Professor Paddywhack (Rick Adam) full of silly antics, juggling, music and more. There will also be a stand-up comedian, a number of dance performances and a Miss Deerfield competition. But the acrobatic circus act by the Flying Wallendas, who will perform all four days, is one of the biggest crowd-pleasers at Deerfield.
“That is something not to be missed,” Avery said.
The Hillsborough County Fair has performances by Mo the Clown, a balloon artist. The Hopkinton Fair has a hypnosis and magic show by Marko, a medieval comedy show by Alexander the Jester and a children’s sing-along with Wayne from Maine. The Seacoast Dock Dogs, where owners throw frisbees off a dock and the dogs jump as far as they can to get them, has become a popular event in the past few years at Hopkinton — the same fair that hosts qualifying heats for the state demolition derby championship.
Live music
A lot of the entertainment at local fairs is music, according to Avery. The common genres tend to be variations on rock and country.
At the Deerfield Fair, which starts Oct. 1, “One of the big things that we’re excited about this year will be the High Range bluegrass show,” Avery said. 
High Range will also be accompanied by a fiddling group called Triple Fiddles. Other performers include Pancake Hill, a singing duo, Chris Cyrus, a self-described “beach rocker” from Hampton, Johnny and the Two Timers, the Darren Bessett Band, Jimmy Lehoux, the Concord Coachmen Chorus and Random Acts of Harmony.
Similar music can be found at the Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair (Sept. 11 to Sept. 13). There will be live music by young alternative rock group Coda Sky, bluegrass and country band Bow Junction and contemporary rock group the Dan Morgan Band, which performs originals and covers. There will also be shows by solo artists Nicole Knox Murphy and Fred Ellsworth.
Bow Junction will also be playing at the Canterbury Fair on July 25, followed by live performances by Ann Conley and another by Badger’s Drift from the Backtrack Band, which plays Americana.
The Hopkinton Fair, happening Sept. 4 to Sept. 7, will have live performances by Jose Duddy on Friday and Saturday and by the Rory Scott Band on Saturday and Sunday.
Ride on
Your New Hampshire fair experience isn’t complete without carnival rides like relaxing Ferris wheels and some of the more dizzying variety.
Maggie Bernard is the rides superintendent for the Deerfield Fair. She says she coordinates with Rockwell Amusements to fill the park with fun rides for all ages.
Bernard said there will be about 20 to 25 rides filling the fairgrounds.
“For adults, they always have a Ferris wheel which goes up. There's a zipper, which is one of those cage things that go around. We'll have scramblers and things that swing,” Bernard said. “Just the basic fair rides, like a tilt-a-whirl, those caterpillars like a rollercoaster that goes in a circle.”
And Bernard says there'll be plenty of rides for kids.
“There's at least 10 rides for kids that are babies to, say, 5 or 6 years old — that height range. There's at least 10 or 12 rides for them,” Bernard said. “They'll have classic ones and the little ones for kids. They'll have a little kiddie rollercoaster dragons that spin in circles. Those have a giant slide. … Last year, we had a trampoline jump for smaller kids based on height and weight.” 
As seen in the July 16, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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