The 159th MV Agricultural Fair kicks off


A near-full parking lot, excited screams from carnival ride riders, and the bellows of cows kicked off the 159th Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show & Fair on Thursday.

Taking place at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society’s fairgrounds on 35 Panhandle Road, West Tisbury (your GPS might say Chilmark instead), the fair is divided into three main parts. Near the entrance area are carnival rides, game booths, stalls for food (we highly recommend the fried Oreos), and merchandise. On Thursday, the majority of people were in this area, eating corn dogs or riding the spinning Cliff Hanger. In the back section of the fair, there were farm animals present for people to look at. Some of the animals, such as the yoked oxen, could be petted. The mooing of cows and bleating goats can be heard, especially in the barn building housing most of the animals. 

Finally, the hall was filled with entries ready to be judged. A variety of things were present to be judged, such as pickled vegetables, artwork, and baked goods among other items though members of the public were kept out until judging was completed.

The fair was not always at 35 Panhandle Road. According to Eleanor Neubert, the fair manager and someone who has been with the fair for 34 years, it used to be held at Grange Hall on State Road. Neubert started working with the fair in 1984 and at that time the fair was only three days long, Thursday to Saturday. The fairgrounds moved to 35 Panhandle Road in 1995.

“It took a while to work out the wrinkles,” she said.

A team of volunteers worked to make the Agricultural Fair run as smoothly as possible. Children volunteers helped to facilitate the entrances of different entry and exit ways with adults. Masks are mandatory for unvaccinated people and are strongly recommended for everyone else. Masks are mandated in indoor spaces. 

The Agricultural Fair has some differences this weekend compared to other summers, but that doesn’t stop the volunteers’ efforts or fair goers’ enthusiasm. Tickets can be purchased at the fair or online: $12 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $6 for ages five to 12. To see more of what the fair will have to offer in the next few days, you can see the schedule here.



  1. With the surge in COVID cases because of the delta variant, please tell me why the fair is being held this year. The organizers and decision making individuals should be ashamed of themselves. Ridiculous!!!

    • You don’t have to go. That’s the beauty of this world we live in. You have choices. No one will judge you for not going, you shouldn’t judge others.

      • Did you think covid would stay at the fair? Covid goes home with everyone it infects. Everyone infected then goes out and spreads it before they know they are infected. All those little kids without masks in unmasked, outdoor crowds is a recipe for disaster within the upcoming weeks.

  2. Mike, Do you honestly not understand that whether or not any one of us chooses to go to the Agricultural Fair this year, we will all intermingle with those that do — at the grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies, restaurants, shops, etc. etc. etc.? We are on a tiny, rural ISLAND. The CV Delta variant is 40-60% more contagious than the original Wuhan strain. Approximately 9 individuals are contaminated for every one confirmed new case. The entire point of a global pandemic is to stop the spread of the out of control viral contagion. Attending the Ag Fair is the exact opposite of that goal. Covid19 is a PANDEMIC, Mike. Learn what that word means ASAP.

  3. At the time this was planned, things seemed to be going in the right direction. The Delta variant has made a great deal of headway in the past several weeks. No one is forcing anyone to go. It’s optional. Masks are mandatory. A great deal of this event is outdoors. There are ample opportunities to keep good space between people at this event. I’d be more worried about night clubs and restaurants at the moment.

    • Yes, before the delta variant took over and it seemed safe for the vaccinated, lots of plans were made by a lot of people for big events, which are now cancelled– if those people are responsible. ANY crowded gathering right now, indoors or out, anywhere on the island, is not only stupid, it is irresponsibly reckless.

      • And it’s obvious that outdoors on the fairgrounds, masks are optional. There are anti vaxers posting photos on Instagram of themselves at the fair with no masks. That’s how intelligent and honorable these selfish fools are.

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