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New Ipswich

152nd Children’s Fair is Aug. 17

The New Ipswich Congregational Church will celebrate its 152nd annual Children’s Fair on Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will be held on the grounds of the New Ipswich Congregational Church at 156 Main Street. Admission is free. Money raised from the fair is distributed to local children’s organizations in the Monadnock area.

The fair will feature: an auction starting at 11 a.m., which will include antiques and collectibles as well as consignment items; a children’s area with games for kids of all ages, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, a dunk tank and face painting; a marionette show, featuring Dan Grady of Eliot, Maine; a white elephant area, garden shoppe, book sale, rummage sale, raffle of gift baskets and food.

There will also be an annual school supply drive. Bring any type of school supplies to drop off at the fair. These items will be distributed to children in need. These items can be dropped off at Butch’s Country Store.

The first New Ipswich Children’s Fair was held during the Civil War in 1861. The concept of the fair originated with Mr. Quimby of Appleton Academy and Reverend Cutler of the New Ipswich Congregational Church. The fair was held in the fall and the children brought the best of their harvests – plums, pears, apples, pumpkins, etc. These items were auctioned off and the proceeds were given to the charity or organization specified by the child. The children performed songs and recited verses, and all in attendance shared in a “plain dinner” of baked beans, Indian pudding, brown bread, pickles, and apple pie. This tradition has been kept alive for over 150 years.

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