Champlain Valley Fair Marks ‘Ten Best Days of Summer’

July 14, 2011  
Filed under Things to do

The Champlain Valley Fair returns for its 90th season Aug. 27 through Sept.5 with a great lineup of food, entertainment, agriculture and events. The state’s largest fair features all of the trappings of summer fun in one, 10-day package, with things that will interest guests of every age. The top draw is always fair food – the number one thing people cite as their favorite part of fairs. More than 50 types of food vendors are featured during the Fair, with everything from light snacks to staples like fried dough, burgers and dogs, pizza, chicken and more. Shoppers will find plenty to browse, both outdoors and in. The air conditioned comfort of the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre will provide a welcome setting to shop the hundreds of vendors on hand.

Tuesday, August 30 is Senior Day at the Fair. Guests age 50 and over with ID receive a $3 discount on gate admission that day. A new promotion that supports the community will be featured — Champlain Valley Exposition is teaming up with the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging to support the Meals on Wheels program. Fair guests who purchase a $2 button for CVAA at the gate receive a 10 percent discount on food from participating vendors.

A special free musical performance will be presented on Senior Day this year, as The Return, a tribute to The Beatles, will perform. ­This free show will take place in the Coca-Cola Grandstand at 7 p.m.

The Return is a talented group of young musicians known for the way in which they have so meticulously recreated the complete Beatle image on stage. The boys showcase authentic vintage instruments, haircuts, and custom made clothes and boots. Their unmistakable Liverpool accents and Beatlesque antics truly bring out the charming, charismatic personas of the original four lads. In being true to the original Fab Four, The Return derives their song list from a specific part of the Beatles catalog, primarily performing material that the Beatles performed live in concert.

Other free entertainment this year includes the world-famous Flying Pages high wire trapeze act. Other new acts this year include the 3-man, 30-instrument band New Odyssey, a petting zoo, the West Texas rattlesnake show, and the strolling Hot Tamale Brass Band. Returning acts include the Dazzling Mills Family jugglers, Anastasini Family Circus in the Big Top Tent, Draft Horses, Racing Pigs, toy tractors and model trains, and much more. A special attraction for opening weekend this year will be a Civil War encampment. Reenactors will demonstrate Civil War artifacts and lifestyles, as well as participating in the opening ceremonies on Aug. 27.

Competitive exhibits continue to draw entries from all over the northeast, just as they have since the fair began in 1922. Blue ribbons are awarded in dozens of categories, including art, fruits and vegetables, flowers and Bonsai, cattle, horse, pony and oxen pulling, home crafts, fine arts, sheep, poultry and rabbits. Senior Day includes two categories of Horse Pulling this year. In addition, the culinary department offers bakers a chance to show their talents in a range of competitions, including cookies, pies and breads. Tuesday, Aug. 30 features the King Arthur Flour “Best Whoopie Pie” contest in the Ware Building Annex at 4:30 p.m. Other baking and cooking contests will be featured throughout the week as well. In addition, the Fiber Loft will present a Felting Demonstration that day.

The Comcast Stage in the Coca Cola Grandstand will host top entertainment during the Fair. Opening Night will feature two of classic rock’s most enduring groups, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Doobie Brothers. On Sunday, Aug. 28, Nickelodeon stars Big Time Rush will perform for the delight of younger pop fans. The entertainment continues on Thursday night, Sept. 1, when pop artist Bruno Mars appears in concert. The next night, 3 Doors Down is the featured rock act. The final weekend of the Fair, Sept. 3-4, will feature two of the hottest groups in country/crossover today, Lady Antebellum on Saturday and Sugarland on Sunday. Tickets for all shows are available at the Flynn Box Office. Tickets purchased in advance include free gate admission to the fair the day of the show. Tickets are available online at or by calling (802) 86-FLYNN (863-5966).

Fans of motor sports will also find much to their liking in the Grandstand. On Monday, Aug. 29, Tonny Peterson’s Hell Drivers will be the main attraction. This free show features a thrilling lineup of driving that will impress fans of fast cars and motorcycles. Wednesday, Aug. 31 features the Earth Waste Systems Demolition Derby, and Monday, Sept. 5 is the Dixie Chopper Grand National Tractor & Truck Pull. Tickets for the Demolition Derby and Truck & Tractor Pull (which do NOT include gate admission to the Fair) are available at

The Champlain Valley Fair, presented by Progressive, runs Aug. 27 to Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to midnight. Gate admission is $10 for adults, $5 children, kids under 5 are free. Convenient on-site parking is $5 per vehicle. Special deals for group, advance and seniors – buy early and save when you get your tickets before the fair. Get great discounts when you buy at Price Chopper stores.

The Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction – it’s ‘The Ten Best Days of Summer!’ For more information, visit or call (802) 878-5545.


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