The Hippo


Oct 18, 2019








Stratham fair. Courtesy photo.

48th Annual Stratham Fair

When: Thursday, July 16, through Sunday, July 19, fairgrounds open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day
Where: Stratham Hill Park, off Jack Rabbit Lane
Cost: Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids 6 to 12, free for kids under 6
Fair highlights
Breakfast 7 to 9 a.m. every day
4-H exhibit building open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day
4-H agriculture events throughout the day every day
Thursday, July 16
Pie eating contest - 2 p.m.
Stratham Fair opening ceremony - 6 p.m.
Draw the Line (Aerosmith tribute band) - 7 p.m.
Friday, July 17
Oxen pull - 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Tractor driving contest - 10 a.m.
Sheep herding demonstrations - 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Horse pull - 1 p.m.
Pie eating contest - 2 p.m.
Flying High Frisbee Dogs - 3 p.m.
Entrain performs on the Main Stage - 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 18
Stratham Fair Road Race - 8:30 a.m.  
Horse pull - 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Lobster bake lunch - noon
Pig scramble - 2 p.m.
Country line dancing - 4 p.m.
Houston Bernard Band - 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 19
NH Made Day - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
Oxen pull - 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Chicken BBQ lunch - 11 a.m.
Horse pull - Noon and 6 p.m.
Pig scramble - 2 p.m.
Goat hand milking contest - 3 p.m.
Fireworks finale - 9:30 p.m.

Old-fashioned fun
Stratham Fair kicks off New Hampshire fair season

By Angie Sykeny

The Stratham Fair returns as New Hampshire’s first fair of the season from Thursday, July 16, through Sunday, July 19. 

One of the oldest country fairs in New England, the Stratham Fair began as a celebration of Stratham’s 250th anniversary with only a lobster bake and horse pulling. Forty-eight years later, the fair still has lobster and horses but has evolved into a four-day event full of 4-H agricultural exhibits, competitions, rides and games, live music, food and more.
“It still holds to the traditional country fair offerings that it’s had since the beginning,” Fair Director John Cushing said. “A lot of the same families that were at the first fair are still here, so it has a very rich legacy.”
In addition to the classic fair features like the rides, games and food vendors, one of the main aspects of the fair is its 4-H agriculture exhibits, shows and competitions. A 4-H exhibit building will be open for viewing all day, every day of the fair. Animal shows scheduled throughout the week include the working steer, poultry, dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, dog and sheep shows. 4-H will also have sheep, goat and calf obstacle courses.
“Kids love the 4-H area,” Entertainment Coordinator Vicky Avery said. “They love to go in and touch the animals and watch them shown in the ring. It’s very accessible for them to watch the animals being washed, brushed and groomed for the big show.”
Other animal events not associated with 4-H include the traditional horse pulls, an oxen pull and rabbit hurdling. You can also catch the sheep herding demonstrations and a performance by the Flying High Frisbee Dogs on the Main Stage.   
Kids can try their hand at a number of different challenges and competitions at the fair. For ages 8 to 12, there’s the pig scramble. Contestants will have three minutes to catch and hold a pig, and, if successful, they can take that pig home. For kids 4 to 12, there’s a goat hand milking contest. Kids and teens 8 to 12 can participate in the tractor driving contest on Friday, which may consist of a 50-question quiz, tractor parts identification, safety inspection, figure eight and fork lift tests and various driving courses. One of the most popular events is the kids’ pie eating contest.  
If you’re looking for something more substantial than pie, head to the lobster bake lunch on Saturday or the chicken barbecue lunch on Sunday. Breakfast will also be served every morning, and food vendors will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, fajitas, subs and sandwiches and more throughout each day.
Back for its second year at the fair, the NH Made Day market will be at the Main Stage all day Sunday. New Hampshire merchants and crafters will be selling toys, clothes, food and more. Local acoustic musicians will accompany the market on the stage.
Lace up your running shoes on Saturday for the 42nd Annual Stratham Fair Road Race happening Saturday morning. You can run the 5.7-mile course or team up for the 3-mile two-person relay race.
This year’s fair will have live music and entertainment every day on two stages. The smaller Front Porch Stage will feature ongoing performances from local musicians, dance groups and theater groups. The Main Stage will feature headlining performers in the evenings, including Aerosmith tribute band Draw the Line on Thursday and rock bands Black Agnes and Entrain on Friday. On Saturday night, known as “Country Night,” fair-goers can get into the spirit of things with a country line dancing lesson before country band Houston Bernard takes the stage. A fireworks show will close out the fair on Sunday night.
Avery said that while the fair is a great place to enjoy inexpensive family fun and diverse entertainment, there is another important reason people should attend.
“To support an agricultural fair in this community is important,” she said. “It’s the roots of a lot of communities on the seacoast, and we don’t spend a lot of time exposing our children to that, so taking kids to see the animals and participate in an old-fashioned family fair is a great experience for them.” 
As seen in the July 16, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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