Cannon Grange fair offers competition of all sorts

It may not be the Kentucky Derby, but the Rubber Duck Race that marks the climax of the Cannon Grange’s Annual Agricultural Fair is no less exciting or unpredictable. Crowds will once again line the banks of the Norwalk River at the call to the post, as the little yellow racers float downstream. Some will ride the current, some will get caught along the banks, some will lose ground in a swirling eddy. In the end, there will be a victor.

There will be many other victors as well at the 81st incarnation of the fair, which takes place Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10 to 4, rain or shine on the grounds of the grange hall on Cannon Road. Contestants may enter baked goods, fruits and vegetables straight from the garden, chickens and rabbits, eggs, honey, flowers, crafts, photographs, sewing and needlework, and homemade spirits, specifically wine and beer.

Entries are open for the state baking contest. This year the adult recipe is for French herb bread; the junior recipe is for blueberry muffins. (Recipes are included in the Fair Book.) The adult winner has the honor of participating in the statewide baking contest later this year. Last year that honor went to Susan Mathews for her cream cheese pound cake.

The Cannon Grange Perpetual Trophy is awarded each year for a specific baked good. This year the judges will evaluate a plate of eight raisin scones following a recipe of the contestant’s choice. It is open to bakers of all ages. Last year, Ridgefielder Juliana Fodera’s coconut custard pie took the prize.

At the end of the show, all baked goods will be up for sale, with the opportunity to purchase not only prize winners but an assortment of tasty pies, cookies, cupcakes, jellies and jams.

Another popular event is the watermelon-eating contest for young people, a tasty and messy affair.

The Association of Connecticut Fairs also presents a quilt contest open to anyone in Connecticut, including juniors who are judged as adults. Contestants who enter automatically compete on the local level. Winners represent their local fairs at the State Quilt Contest at the 2014 Spring Meeting of the Association, yet to be announced.

There are two categories: hand-appliqué and patchwork. Judging is based on overall appearance, workmanship and originality. No tied or pre-cut quilt kits are eligible. The rules stipulate all work must be done by an individual. Work may be pieced by hand or machine, but appliqué and quilting must be done by hand.

The quilt must be completed in 2012 or 2013 and all four sides, when added together, must measure a minimum of 216 inches total.

All exhibits for competition must be in place at the grange hall by 8:30 Sunday morning. Entry applications are due by Saturday, Aug. 17.


The grange fair is about more than contests. There will be concessions and a food court. Civic and educational organizations will have exhibits as well.

Details can be found in the Fair Books, available free from local merchants and banks, Wilton Town Hall, Wilton Library, or online at Admission to the fair is free and free parking is available across the road at the Cannondale train station.

Information:, or 203-762-1900.