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New Ipswich

Children’s Fair tradition that started in Civil War continues

In a tradition that dates back to the Civil War in celebration of the harvest and in the spirit of giving, the 153rd Annual Children’s Fair will be held on Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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 The Rev. 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 year’s fair will be held on the grounds of the New Ipswich Congregational Church. Admission is free. Money raised from the fair will be distributed to local children’s organizations in the Monadnock area.

An auction including antiques and collectibles as well as consignment items will be held beginning at 11 a.m.

The children’s area will have games for kids of all ages, a petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, a dunk tank, face painting, a teddy bear clinic and more. Dan Grady’s Marvelous Marionette Medley from Eliot, Maine, will perform for the children.

Fresh produce, baked items, candy, chicken barbecue, sandwiches, old-fashioned milk shakes, cotton candy and other food will be for sale. There also will be a white elephant area, garden shoppe, book sale, rummage sale, and a gift basket raffle.

An annual school supply drive will be held. All visitors to the fair are invited to bring any type of school supplies to drop off. No donation is too small. These items will be distributed to children in need. These items also can be dropped off at Butch’s Country Store.

This fair features activities for people of all ages.

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