Stratham Fair is a family affair
STRATHAM - Jenny Lee moved to New York 10 years ago, but she never misses the Stratham Fair.
"We still come every year," the former Barrington resident said Saturday after arriving at the fair with her boys, Matthew, 5, and John, 3, and her mother, Karen Langlois of Milton.
Now in its 46th year, the fair remains a must-do summer event for Lee and her family.
"It's always been a family tradition," Langlois said.
The fair, held each year at Stratham Hill Park as a fundraiser for the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department, continued Saturday with a road race in the morning followed by 4-H animal shows, horse pulling, a pig scramble, a pie-eating contest, music, lots of food, and more.
On Friday night, Michelle Vegliante, a native of Merrimack, was crowned Miss Stratham Fair.
Organizers expected the fair to attract 15,000 to 20,000 people over the course of the four-day event that began Thursday and ends today.
But the steamy weather proved challenging for fair officials, who shut down the rides for part of Friday afternoon as the heat index soared well past 100 degrees.
Saturday was still hot with temperatures reaching the low 90s, but it didn't feel as stifling.
"The heat just draws everything out of you," said fair volunteer Pat Izzo of Stratham.
Like many, she has had enough of the heat and humidity.
"Snow is looking really good now," she said, laughing.
The heat also bothered the kids and their animals preparing for the 4-H shows.
Katie Zintel, 15, of Weare, said the heat has been tough on the goats, including Layla, her 2-year-old Nigerian Dwarf goat.
"We've been filling their water four to six times a day," said Katie, a member of the Just Kiddin' Around 4-H Dairy Goat Club.
Despite the heat, Katie was still enjoying her time at the fair.
"I just like hanging out with the animals and having fun," she said as she was trimming Layla's eyelashes in preparation for her show.
Kristen Mulcahy of Stratham brought her three children, Dante, 8, Gina, 6, and Marcus, 4, to their second Stratham Fair.
Dante and Gina received free tickets through a program offered at the library where children are rewarded with tickets for 12 hours of reading.
Mulcahy recalled attending the fair when she was a college student, but had not been back until last year when she moved to town.
"It's local and we're able to experience everything without lines," she said.
The kids were excited to return and share memories of last year's fair when Dante won a goldfish that he named Goldie.
The goldfish is still alive and seems to be doing well.
"We only feed him on Tuesdays and Fridays," Dante said.