WESTFIELD-Generations of farmers in the city have devoted countless hours over the years sharing their passion for agriculture at the Westfield Fair, and that pride will once again be exhibited during the three-day fair, Aug. 20-22.
“This year we are excited to be switching up the schedule in our entertainment department as well as focusing on our youth agricultural exhibitors,” said Andy Freniere, a board member and volunteer with the Westfield Fair Association.
Freniere first became involved in the fair more than 13 years ago when he met his wife, Maureen.
“Her family is the sixth generation farmers here in Westfield and she has competed at the fair and been involved in volunteering her whole life,” said Freniere. “This year will be our first year with our son Brody, who will be part of the cousins who are seventh generation to be involved in the Westfield Fair.”
Freniere said the entire fair organization is comprised of many generations of local families who have developed a love and passion for devoting their time to the fair each year.
“We are fortunate to volunteer alongside a number of family and friends who find a way to support the fair throughout the year and help contribute to making the annual fair happen year after year,” he said.
“Support” is a key word and Freniere noted “after a tough year, as many others,” the fair has “lost a number of our year round support that helped sustain us financially from year to year; with that we took this opportunity to try something new.”
Fair organizers will host a Demo Derby on Friday night, Truck Pulls on Saturday night, and Antique Tractor Pulls on Sunday.
“With all this excitement on the track we are also gearing up to potentially host some new events that will be open to youth and local participants,” said Freniere, adding updates on “new fun competitions” can be found on the Westfield Fair website and Facebook page.
“Our agricultural roots run deep not only in our fair but in the traditions and families behind it which have been developed for generations,” said Freniere. “This year our livestock shows will be open to youth only to allow us to focus on supporting the kids who had so much taken away from them in 2020.”
Freniere said that with an “uncertainty” on traditional premiums this year, fair organizers are focusing on sponsorships and awards for the youth.
For local individuals, businesses or organizations interested in supporting these shows, reach out to Bridget Rida at [email protected]
Additionally, several “assets” are available for naming rights on the property this year and Freniere is hopeful there are partners in the Greater Westfield community who will reach out for more information.
“We are full speed ahead in search of sponsorships and support for the annual fair this year,” said Freniere. “There are multiple tiers available to accommodate any amount of support and we are always more than willing to find a fit for in-kind donations as well.”
“Our livestock youth will also be offering demonstrations this year to share with the public,” he said, adding, “Look for our cow milking demonstrations throughout the weekend.”
Fair organizers are also pleased to announce a “big upgrade” to the craft barn with a new 116’ x 42’ Morton metal building.
“We strive to invest in the fairgrounds year round,” said Freniere, noting the barn came to fruition through multiple grants including continued support from the Hampden County Improvement League and personal donations from longtime fair members.
Freniere noted the building will be able to make revenue year round to help offset the rising cost of keeping the fair going each year.
Volunteers are still needed to ensure the fair’s success and persons interested in donating some time are asked to contact Freniere via email to [email protected]