BERLIN - The 71st Annual Berlin Fair takes place this weekend, Sept. 13 through 15. Hereâ€™s everything you need to know.
As it has been since its reincarnation in 1948 the Berlin Fair is being organized by the Berlin Lions Club.
President of the 2019 Berlin Fair Dan Daigle offered advice for returning and first time visitors.
â€śThereâ€™s a lot to see and a lot to do so plan to arrive early and stay the whole day,â€ť Daigle said.
The fair will open on Friday at 11 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. It will reopen Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and again on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
One-day tickets for adults are $12, $8 for seniors (age 62 and up), and free for children under 12 and active military.
Three-day passes are also available, and all tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.ctberlinfair.com .
Daigle recommended buying tickets online. â€śItâ€™s the fastest way to get into the fair,â€ť Daigle said.
Lines to get into the fair can get long, so in addition to an online ticket sales option, the Lions Club has posted signs both at the fairgrounds and online of all prohibited items so that attendees can be ready to enter the gates.
Prohibited items include weapons, knives/pocketknives, alcohol, illegal drugs, motorcycle/gang colors, and large bags/backpacks.
All bags and guests are subject to search.
This is the third year running that the fair is taking place earlier in the year. Daigle cites weather as a factor, and also said that the new dates are preferred by the vendors.
One new vendor that fairgoers will see is the â€śHydration Station,â€ť which will offer smoothies, slushies, iced coffee, and other similar cold beverages.
â€śWe went with that because now with the fair two weeks earlier itâ€™s hotter, and we want to offer options to cool them down,â€ť Daigle said.
One food item, buffalo chicken ravioli, had a quiet debut last year, and Daigle says they plan to advertise the new option much more this year.
â€śWeâ€™re always looking to tweak the menu,â€ť Daigle said. â€śWe have the favorites too.â€ť
Returning favorites include clam chowder, the roast beef sandwich, butterfly potatoes, freedom fries, apple fritters, and deep fried Oreos. A full list of food vendors and options is available at www.ctberlinfair.com/food .
The beer pavilion will offer an extensive list of beer, wine, and other alcohol.
Last year was the first time a local craft brewery was included in the festivities, and this year that number has doubled to two. Kinsmen Brewing Co. in Southington and Alvarium Beer Co. in New Britain will have a variety of beer available.
There will be no shortage of entertainment and competition at this yearâ€™s fair.
Live musical performances, a demolition derby, eating and drawing contests, livestock and produce competitions, tractor, truck, and animal pulls, a frog jump contest, a turtle race, and much more will keep you busy throughout the weekend.
Preparation for the fair takes months, and this year included some additional construction to remove overhead power lines.
The wires were either relocated or buried so that they no longer stretch over the fair grounds.
Daigle said that this will allow for much more flexibility with what rides can be brought in, meaning that there will most likely be new rides this year.
â€śWeâ€™re expecting great rides this year at the fair,â€ť Daigle said.
Overall, Daigle is expecting another successful year.
â€śWe always plan for a big crowd, and over the past years weâ€™ve grown in popularity,â€ť Daigle said.
While the Berlin Fairgrounds offers some free onsite parking, there is limited available, and the Berlin Lions Club recommends using the free shuttle bus service, which runs continuously and is wheelchair accessible.
There are two satellite parking areas and shuttle bus pickup locations.
Shuttles from Assa Abloy, located at 275 Deming Road, begin Friday at noon and stops at 11 p.m., then picks up again on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and again on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Shuttles from Eversource, located at 107 Selden St., begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and runs until 11 p.m., and has the same operating hours as the Assa Abloy pickup location for Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, visit the Berlin Fairâ€™s website at .
Adam Hushin can be reached at 860-801-5046 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.