A Good Old Time

The Hanover Center Old Timer's Fair is an affordable Upper Valley Tradition

Ah the country fair. Rambling aimlessly, letting the kids run wild and eat too much cotton candy, bumping into old friends, kicking back to some music—it’s a rite of summer. At some fairs, it’s also one of the very few affordable family outings. The 56th annual Hanover Center Old Timer’s Fair is that kind of fair.  

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Ever since 1961, the Old Timer’s Fair has been a true community event. Back in the day (the 1800’s), Hanover Center was the true center of Hanover, with a school, a post office office, a general store, blacksmiths and all the things that made a small town tick. All that remains in community use from those days is the church. The First Congregational Church of Hanover in Hanover Center is still used for Sunday services throughout the summer. All proceeds from the Old Timer’s Fair go towards maintaining and restoring this centerpiece of the Hanover Center green.

The volunteer snowcone brigade

 The fair kicks off Friday evening, when the bouncy house goes up, the ponies get hitched, the book sale opens, the band starts playing and the burgers and dogs start rolling off the grill. Later on you can grab some popcorn and hunker in for the outdoor movie.

Saturday the action kicks off with a parade at 10—oh yes there will be judges, so bring your float, your wagon, your bike, your clown suit, your old car and whatever else you want to strut, but most of all you’re A Game.

Saturday is all about the ox pulls—the first event on the summer ox pulling circuit. But of course there’s more:  kids games; live music; book, craft and bake sales; raffle; and fair food galore. The live auction gets going at high noon, and many a treasure has been snagged for a song from beneath the auction tent. If you get outbid, the outdoor chicken bbq is a fine consolation prize.  Entry to the fair is free and this is one place where $20 still goes a long way!

Clowns? Oh yeah. We've got clowns

What’s that? You want to help? The fair happens through a massive volunteer turnout. Anyone who wants to get a free course in Fair set up 101 is most welcome to come out Monday, June 19, 5 pm, to help set up tents and the Ox pull fencing. (Rain date is Tuesday same time. Work clothes and gloves a plus!) Want to make something for the bake sale? Yes please! If clean-up is more your thing, come on out and help with the tear down Sunday after the fair.

The Old Timer's Fair runs Friday June 23 5-10 pm, and Saturday June 24 10 am-4 pm. Find more details on the program, pictures of past fairs and contact info for volunteering at the Hanover Center Fair website For updates check out the  Hanover Center Fair facebookpage.

Get your...well you know, to the fair!


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