161st Ag Fair jumps off

Sack races were a big hit at the Ag Fair on Thursday. - Adarsh Bhat, MV Times

The Agricultural Hall and grounds in West Tisbury were crowded all Thursday for day one of four of the 161st Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show & Fair.

The fair, held since October 1858 (with years off only in World War II and once during COVID), has long been an essential Vineyard summer experience. This year was no different. Gray Weather could not keep attendees away from the local livestock, produce, crafts, games and more.

A robust selection of foods were served from stands, including pulled pork, gyros, slushies and fried Oreos. Fairgoers also shot hoops, stuck targets and broke bottles.

“Grow It, Sew It, Show It!”—this year’s Ag Fair theme—was at once evident within the Hall. Attendees browsed blue-ribbon winners, and runner-ups, of various gardening, baking and artistic competitions. Artworks ranged from dolls made by children to practiced needlepoint pieces to photography submissions.

Each day of the fair is also themed, with Thursday having been Cattle Day. This involved attendees meeting cows and farmers, as well as cattle-focused attractions such as ox pulling.

The fair continues Friday with Horse Day (includes a corn-husking competition and pet show) and Saturday with Farm Machinery Day (woodsman’s fair, mini excavator competition), before concluding Sunday with events including the dog show and the women’s skillet toss.