The Hippo


Oct 21, 2019








Dock dogs go for distance at the Hopkinton State Fair

Hopkinton State Fair

Where: 392 Kearsarge Ave., Contoocook
When: Friday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 1; see website for exact times and event listings
Cost: $10 for adults Friday through Sunday, $8 on Monday; $7 for senior citizens Friday and Monday, $10 on Saturday and Sunday; $5 for children ages 6 through 12 on Friday and Monday, $6 for Saturday and Sunday; and children ages 5 and under are admitted free every day.
Call: 746-4191


Labor Day tradition
Some things old and some things new at Hopkinton State Fair


A year shy of its centennial, the Hopkinton State Fair returns over Labor Day weekend for four days of its traditional agricultural activities, plus the newer events its added through the years, including diving dogs and the demolition derby.
The fair celebrates its 99th year Friday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 1. 
Along with all the typical midway rides and concession stands selling turkey legs, cotton candy and fried dough, the fair will have its usual lineup of agriculture-based shows and activities, including horse-pulling shows on Friday and Saturday, cattle-pulling shows on Sunday, and pony-pulling shows to cap off the
weekend on Monday. The fair will also host several 4H shows every morning of the weekend, showcasing animals such as dogs, goats, llamas, sheep, working steer and more, and there’s a petting farm too. 
Exhibits featuring rabbits, poultry and giant pumpkins have been a mainstay at the fair for decades.
“That’s the reason the fair started out; it was a way for local farmers to show off what they had been doing, what’s been going on, comparing notes,” said Matt Forrest, the fair’s announcer. “You can have a nice 20-minute to half-hour conversation about tomatoes.”
New events include shows like the Snowmobile Drags, which will feature snowmobiles in three different engine classes racing against each other on the dirt, and the Mud Race, a king-of-the-hill type of event in which full size 6-, 8- and 10-cylinder trucks will slip and slide through the mud. Forrest said both new features should cater to the typical fair crowd.
One of the fair’s most popular events, Forrest said, is the demolition derby. There are now two — one Saturday night and one that was added Sunday night because the one Saturday show can sell out by noon.
“Dock Dogs” is a relatively new event in which contestants can sign up their dogs to jump of a dock into a giant pool to see who can achieve the best hangtime.
“Some contestants [travel] all over the world for these competitions,” Forrest said. “Most of the dogs are trying for distance, but we also have extreme vertical leaps and speed retrieve. That’s the event people are always asking about.”
For live music fans, the Strolling Dixieland Band will be at the fairgrounds all day Saturday and Sunday, and the Rick Adam One Man Band will be milling around on Monday. The Rory Scott Band will rock out on Monday, Jose Duddy will add a country kick to the fair on Friday and Sunday, and Jeff Dearborn and the
Contoocook Blues Society will perform Monday as well. Vic and Sticks plays its “recycled rhythm” music all four days.
For the kids, Judy Pancoast will be performing her blend of tuneful melodies and silly lyrics on Friday; BJ Hickman is bringing his comedy magic to the stage during several shows throughout the four-day fair; and Wayne From Maine will be inviting kids to play or sing along with him on stage Saturday through Monday. A hypnotist, a jester and a juggler will make appearances as well.
Other fun includes the Sandtastik Sand Sculpture, the NH Cowboy Mounted Shooters and canine demonstrations and wood sculpting. See for exact days and times. 

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