A Dairy Calf chain was started in Hartford County thanks to the Windsor Locks Rotary Club.
Peter Cherichetti received the first calf.
A clown contest was added to the fair, the Hilda Purrington Clown Trophy went to the best clown. The fair association held a picnic at the fairgrounds in July for fun and a little work to be done. Premier Livestock Showmanship was added with the Grand champion being Christine Francis, entries included the champions from
Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Swine and Goats.
Aimee Clarke was the first female president of the Fair Association. No live poultry exhibits were allowed at the fair due to Avian Influenza. The Beef Heifer Chain was started, Ellen Leahey was awarded this animal.
The 4-H Fair moved to its current location at Fourtown Fairgrounds in Somers. There was no greased pole competition this year, tractor driving contests were revived from past years, other events included Tom Sawyer fence painting and a Heavy weight Doodlebug draw. The Fair Association did not operate a food building this
year. More than $20,000 was raised by the annual Advertising Campaign.
Hartford County 4-H Fair celebrated its 50th Anniversary while trying to find land for a permanent fair location. The buildings and equipment that came from Bradley Field were in storage.
The premium book was dedicated to Bayard Pelton Jr. who donated the trailers that the fair
associations belongings were stored in while searching for a new home.
Premiums for showmanship classes were added, Dairy and beef $6, $5, $4, $3, Pigs, sheep,
goats and dogs $4, $3, $2, Rabbits & Poultry $3, $2, $1.
A costume class for all livestock animals was held. A new lot in photography included
pictures from the previous Hartford County 4-H Fair
The 4-H food building that had been at Bradley Field was renovated and permanently placed on the grounds at Fourtown Fairgrounds. The fair premium book got third place at the Association of Connecticut Fairs.
The fair stayed open an hour less changing the closing time from midnight on Friday and Saturday to 11pm. A motion at a fair meeting was approved to form a Kings Contest along with the Queens Contest, no entry would be made in this contest until 2000.
An antique tractor pulling competition was held, unfortunately when the fair changed
weekends a few years later they could no longer attend the fair.
With the addition of the large dairy barn at Fourtown Fairgrounds the dairy and goats
no longer were housed in tents
With the outbreak of rabies in the state a ban was put in place that prevented petting some species of animals including rabbits and goats. These animals were placed behind a double fence for protection. Champion rosettes for items in the homemaking building were displayed with the exhibit rather than awarded at closing ceremonies.
After much discussion the fair association decided to move the fair back a week in August to the weekend of the 18th – 20th. This was done because the older 4-Hers had concerns that they would miss the fair because colleges
were starting sooner. The motion to move the weekend passed 62 to 22. Working steer were also added as exhibits to the fair.
The Homemaking Building was renamed the Exhibition Center to better represent the exhibits on display.
In the addition of typical food vendors, this year the fair included many crafters that sold items out of the red craft barn. Working Steer were added to the premier showmanship class. Llamas and Alpacas were a new exhibit at the fair. Fair association approved $4,400 to update the electrical system in the new dairy barn at Fourtown Fairgrounds to better accommodate exhibitors, in addition more lights were added to the sheep barn
for an additional cost. $5,000 was also approved to replace the concrete blocks used for pulling contests, the blocks being used were from 1951.
In memory of Leland “Red” Bradley, Austin Harlow raised money for the Red Bradley trophy by holding a contest to guess the number of steps that he walked during work week and fair, the trophy now is awarded at the end of each fair. The horse program expanded to three days,
a tent and stalls were ordered to allow space for horses to spend the weekend.
The growing sheep program filled the barn and a tent was put up
outside the barn to house all of the tack
Jeff Fusick Was the first Hartford County 4-H King
Publicity committee started to create brochures to pass out throughout the c
ommunity to help advertise the fair.
This year marked the 4-H centennial anniversary, celebrating 100 years of 4-H a special ceremony was held at the fair. With a nationwide push to become environmentally friendly the fair association decided to implement recycling of soda and water bottles at the fair.
With over 100 goats they could no longer fit into the dairy barn,
a tent was rented and half of the goats stayed in the goat tent.
A year of bad weather caused major flooding throughout the fairgrounds, 4-Hers entered fitting and showmanship covered in mud after digging trenches around tents. A lightning strike that hit Steve Zoppa’s parked doodle bug gave an electrifying jolt to the fairgrounds during the middle of the night.
A donkey and mule show was added as a one day show in future years
this would expand to a full weekend exhibit.
A group of 4-Hers working on service projects developed and implemented a program
known as animal buddies to help kids with special needs show livestock at the fair,
this program continues to have several exhibitors.
With the success of recycling from years before, the fair association purchased recycle bins,
in addition new announcer stands were built for the livestock show rings.
New fire codes caused some last minute changes including finding twenty fire extinguishers the day before the fair, also people staying overnight were no longer able to sleep in barns with the animals. A food drive was held at the fair to raise food for CT Food Share.
The fair association changed the bylaws to include junior advisors to assist with mentoring officers. Junior advisors are young adults recently aged out of 4-H.
Several new features this year included an Open Horse Show, a 5k Road Race and a Battle of the Bands Competition, Connecticut Masons were also invited to provide free child identification kits to families.
Successfully hitting another milestone the fundraising committee introduced a special mug with a fair design to celebrate the 75th anniversary. Chris Ferguson put together a time of news articles and photos from all the years that stretched over two hundred feet long.