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Friday, August 8, 2014

Bolton Fair & the Demolition Derby

The Bolton Fair was established in 1874 as a Cattle Show. Times have changed and the fair has morphed considerably. Over the years, individual activities have been adjusted as the community and society changed, but the basics remain the same. Agriculture -- animal shows, demonstrations and hall exhibits -- remains the focus, with food and family fun in the form of contests, rides and games important runners-up. Its home is a 53 acre plot of land in on the town line in Lancaster. They moved to his location in 2006 acre out growing the old location.

The Bolton Cattle Show began as an effort by the Farmers' and Mechanics' Association to create some pride and competition among the farmers who attended their monthly organization meetings to learn better, more modern methods of farming. The fair continues as a tribute to that pride, to Bolton's history, and for the sheer fun of an old-time country fair.  

I opted to visit the night of their first day. Parking was in the fields to the left of the fairgrounds. After paying the modest $10 entrance fee we made our way into the grounds and headed for the many food vendors. It was dinner time after all. I picked standard fair food a nice and greasy sausage sandwich with peppers and onions.

We decided to enjoy the Olde Time Lumberjack Show that was taking place nearby as we ate our fair food. The show was part comedy and part lesson of the bygone days of yester year and how lumberjacks used to do their jobs. The two older gentlemen Bob Bosco and Richard Singerland and a younger Mitchell Roberge showed us the skills, strength, and courage of the old time lumberjack, in both a humorous and educational way.  They demonstrated that a hand saw used properly could beat a chainsaw through a log. Then they fashioned some fun take home gifts for a couple of the younger audience members they had recruited from a log they carved with the chainsaw.

The fun really begun when their Mitchell demonstrating his log rolling skills. First he showed us how well balanced he is and then he showed us a bit of log rolling with Bob Bosco as an opponent. The challenge didn't last long as the younger of the two quickly out performed his opponent.

After enjoying the old world charm of the lumberjack show we headed over to the grand stands for the Demolition Derby. With only three grand stands they were full by the time we arrived. The show Itself is a battle between fearless drivers who collide and crash their cars in a whirlwind of metal and destruction, until only one is left standing. The completion started with two preliminary qualifying rounds. They winners of the top 3 finishers still moving at the end of the qualifying rounds would move on to the final round. These preliminary rounds were filled with exciting crashed and dueling opponents who according to the rules must be moving and making contact with other cars at least every 60 seconds. After the third and final round a champion was crowned since his was the only car left running. The champion was Chris Woodward from Pembroke, MA in the #11 car.

As the stands emptied out we headed for the outdoor stage to watch Cirque de Light. Cirque de Light is the duo of Andrew Lindsay and Elizabeth Knights. Their fire show featured a variety of props from the flaming hula hoop, samurai sward and fire spinning. the highlight of their performance was partner poi where they both were fire spinning and performing in tandem in close proximity of each other intertwined creating an intricate duet of fire.

No trip to the fair is complete without a fried dough and carnival rides and that is exactly what I did. The Bolton Fair carnival rides are part of the Fiesta Shows group. The Midway Rides as they are called. One of my favorite things about the midway are all the lights from the rides.  We didn't ride any of them since they freak me out  to watch them sway heavily as others ride them. But I do enjoy watching people enjoy taking their lives in their own hands.

Having enjoyed all the fair had to offer and with it having become dark we decided it was time to head home. It was a great day and a great fair.

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