Through Sept. 16

Rochester Fair making a comeback this weekend

Union Leader Correspondent
September 05. 2018 1:04PM
Mark Perry has been working to bring the Rochester Fair back to life, and today the doors will reopen for eight days of food and fair excitement. (Kimberley Haas/Union Leader Correspondent)

ROCHESTER — The Rochester Fair would have celebrated its 142nd year last fall but was cancelled due to financial difficulties.

Still, fair manager Mike Perry and about 150 volunteers have rallied to bring back the annual tradition in 2018.

“It’s a comeback story. It’s really interesting. To my knowledge, no fair has come back in New England from missing a date since World War II,” Perry said from an office on the fairground property last week.

In addition to daily Circus Hollywood shows, there will be Hollywood Racing Pigs, Animal Encounters and exhibition barns full of livestock.

The fair will opens Thursday and runs through Sept. 16 (Thursdays through Sundays.)

Competitions will be held for crafters, gardeners and photographers.

At the grandstand, the ever-popular school bus derby will be held Saturdays, Sept. 8 and 15.

Perry said the focus of the fair has always been on the animals and vegetables, but people can’t resist the school bus derby. Buses are already being stashed around the city for the event.

“We didn’t even know if it would stick or fly, and it’s been a runaway hit,” Perry said.

Other grandstand events include a lawn mower race and other demolition derbies, as well as the New Hampshire’s Got Talent competition Thursday, Sept. 13. Singers, dancers, musicians, comedians and magicians are invited to take the stage at 6 p.m. to show off their special skills in front of a panel of celebrity judges, according the website for Sky Fire Productions.

Perry said they have dozens of vendors selling goods and food during the fair, and he hopes people take advantage of low ticket prices to bring their whole family out for eight days of fun.

Opening day tickets are $5, and admission begins at 3 p.m. General admission thereafter is $7. For information, visit

EntertainmentAnimalsFoodGardeningRochesterPhoto Feature

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