Deerfield Valley Farmers Day Fair set for Aug. 14-17


WILMINGTON -- Organizers have begun to set up and prepare for the annual Deerfield Valley Farmers Day Fair.

Some things will need another coat of paint before being brought to the field and the amusement rides will start showing up in town next week.

"It's such a deep rooted, strong valley tradition," said Fair President Steve Adams. "Everyone who's grown up here has memories of the fair. Every individual in the valley has a first fair memory."

He has assisted with organizing the fair for about 15 years now. He recalls watching children attempting to get more ribbons than their siblings.

When old-timers in the valley are interviewed, Adams said, the fair usually comes up.

"They always have a few funny stories to tell," he added.

Adams' grandfather had often told him about his own experiences, when walking was required. They would walk down to the fair with cattle and he would follow behind his father. During the journey, his father would drop silver dollars on the ground so that he could have some money to spend once he got there.

The Deerfield Valley Farmers Day Fair was originally known as the Wilmington Agricultural Society Fair. It was founded nearly 100 years ago. Adams' great, great-grandfather served as the fair president during the fair's first years. Many of his relatives are still involved in organizing and running it today.

The fair usually draws 5,000 to 6,000 people, Adams said. There is a mix of local residents, visitors and second homeowners taking to the midway for games and the surrounding area for other events and shows.

This year's fair will be held from Aug. 14 to 17 on Baker Field, which is behind the former Twin Valley High School building in Wilmington. Adults pay $6 to get in. Kids and seniors pay $2.

Events and activities include a children's lawnmower rodeo, horse show, cattle show, country music jam session, watermelon seed spitting contest and pie eating contests. More information is available at

Fireworks will be held on Saturday night at 9 p.m. That show was new to last year's fair and organizers saw it was a popular show.

"It really knocked folks' socks off," Adams said

The fireworks are sponsored by the midway provider Amy's World Amusement and Wilmington's local option tax fund, which makes money available for special events. It will mark the second year of the town's support of the show.

A demolition derby on Sunday has proven to be a good crowd pleaser in the past, Adams told the Reformer. A classic car show will also be held on the same day.

An arts and crafts show inside the former high school building has gained popularity after becoming part of the festivities about five years ago.

"It's beginning to get a track record with the fair history," said Adams.

The truck pull was canceled this year due to organizers not being able to locate a progressive weight transfer sled. Adams hopes the event will return next year.

He pointed out it takes thousands of hours to organize and set up the fair.

"It's a lot of work carried on the shoulders of thousands of volunteers," he said. "Each of these shows, exhibits and events takes a handful of people to take the ball and run with it."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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