DURHAM — When it comes to the Durham Fair, not even rain can stop loyal visitors.
After a cloudy, yet clear Thursday opening, Friday was a cold and rainy day at the 99th annual Durham Fair.
Debbie Huscher, fair marketing coordinator, said there was still a good crowd, despite the less than ideal weather.
“There’s a good amount of people walking around with their mud boots on,” Huscher said. “Doesn’t seem to be stopping them.”
Among the fairgoers were sisters Dorthy Dicaprio, of Durham, and Daphne Lagasse, of Middletown, who had other family with them too.
“We like to come every year,” Dicaprio said.
The sisters have been visiting the fair together for more than a decade and especially enjoy the animals and crafts. They decided to walk to the fair this year since Dicaprio only lives a few miles away.
Fairgoers also watched ox pulls, learned about a variety of agricultural skills and watched some of the competitions.
Morgan Riley, 9, of North Stonington and Austin Petow, 12, of Vernon both won ribbons in the beef cattle showmanship group.
The two friends have been showing since they were about 3 years old. Petow’s dad Bruce said they often help each other out, since there aren’t very many kids involved in raising farm animals. By midday on Friday, Austin Petow had showed one of Riley’s Holsteins to be judged in beef cattle showmanship.
“I love how I can play with them, because they’re so soft,” Riley said about why she loves working with the animals. Riley also shows dairy cattle.
Throughout the fairgrounds, kids and adults admired other farm animals, including rabbits, llamas, and goats. In the Discovery Center, kids could paint their own cows, learn how to use a pottery wheel and see all tables filled with rocks and minerals. Later in the day, the demolition derby came to life and Melissa Etheridge would perform on the main stage.
Parking will be available at Tilcon, 1605 Durham Road, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, in Wallingford for Saturday and Sunday. The fair runs 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.