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June 22. 2013 2:32AM

Fair season

Stratham Fair kicks off for its 46th year starting July 18


Thousands of people are expected at the 46th annual Stratham Fair July 18-21 for music, 4-H exhibits, food and of course, traditional thrilling amusement rides. (Courtesy)

STRATHAM — The Stratham Fair, which runs July 18-21, kicks off it 46th year, transforming Stratham Hill Park on Route 33 into a family playground with amusements rides, barbecues, games, 4-H activities, music, entertainment and the Miss Stratham Fair Pageant.

According to organizer Vicky Avery, the first day of the fair will be “grandparent's day,” where grandparents get in free as long as they are with their grandchild. But the day, she says, really translates to “focus on children day”.

“The day is filled will entertainment for kids with expanded shows such as 'Wacky Chad,' a street performer who juggles and does amazing cycling tricks on wacky bicycles,” Avery said. “We will also have the Frisbee dogs back, basically dogs who catch Frisbees better than humans, and an all-day touch-a-truck event with the town's fire engines on hand to explore.”

Friday night at 7 p.m. is when the Miss Stratham Fair pageant hits the stage. The pageant is a qualifier in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program and the state chapter of the Miss America organization. Typically more than a dozen young women compete for the crown. Among her duties, Miss Stratham Fair participates in town events and fund-raisers, visits the Cooperative Middle School for a career talk, and represents the Stratham Fire Department during the Exeter Memorial Day parade.

This year's schedule includes old favorites as well as some new offerings, according to Avery. On Saturday at 3:30 p.m. the Smuttynose beer tent opens to refresh and delight beer lovers near the main stage as well as offer education about the Portsmouth company's brewing process and their recycling efforts that support local farms. Also new this year is a community supper hosted by YMCA Camp Lincoln, Kingston, with food provided by Las Olas, a Mexican restaurant in Exeter. Each day fair-goers can start the day with breakfast at the fairgrounds at 7 a.m. Gates open for rides and amusements at 10 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m.

As one of the oldest country fairs in New England, Stratham Fair is a venue for numerous bands to hit the large David Noyes Stage, including Charlie Strater, Tom Dixon Band, Jamie Lee Thurston, The Jeannie Daniels Band, Jillian Cardarelli and The Way Back Machine, just to name a few.

On the Front Porch Stage, performances include Freight Train, Earth 2 Rooney, Bad Prom Date, Hilton Park, Two for the Road, Crab Shack Band and the popular local group The Funky Divas of Gospel.

Tickets are available for $8 for adults and $5 for juniors (age 6-12) or seniors (age 65 plus), Children under age 6 are admitted free. For more information, entertainers and ticket specials, visit the fair online at www.strathamfair.com.


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