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Wilton Gathers at the Cannon Grange Fair on Sunday

WILTON, Conn. – If you're looking for Wilton's most savory apple pie, sweetest preserves, largest pumpkin and fluffiest bunny, then you should head to Cannon Grange on Sunday for its 79th Agricultural Fair and Exposition.

"It's all about baked goods, preserves and flowers," Grange Fair organizer Billie Sue Hollingsworth said. "It all gets judged and people get ribbons. Then, at the end, everything gets auctioned off."

The fair, held rain or shine, celebrates Wilton's agrarian history with blue ribbons awarded to the best in show for all manner of fruits and vegetables grown by contest entrants.

Home farmers vie for top prizes with their broccoli, snap beans, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and berries among the more than two-dozen categories. The Grange Fair also seeks the best flora with ribbons given to the growers of the best daises, marigolds, sunflowers and roses in the 21 flower categories.

If your farming expertise leans toward animal husbandry, there's a competition for that, too.

Judges award ribbons for outstanding examples of chickens, water fowl, pigeons and rabbits. Birds also compete in the eggs category with prizes going to best in class for chicken, duck, turkey and goose eggs. A special award goes to the bird that lays the biggest egg.

Not all the competition revolves around the field and barn activities. Prizes are also awarded in craft making, sewing, quilting, photography and even homemade beer and wine.

And what would lifting a glass of homemade spirits be without live entertainment to serve as a chaser? Musicians perform throughout the day, said Hollingsworth, including bluegrass, bluesy jazz and tunes aimed squarely at the under-10 set.

Fairgoers will also have a chance to peruse items for sale by 23 vendors, ranging from jewelry to bakery items to wares from local craftsmen. Antique cars and firetrucks will also be parked around the Grange to provide close-up inspections to American machinery from yesteryear.

The day winds down with the watermelon-eating contest — "always a lot of fun for the kids," said Hollingsworth. And the charity rubber ducky race in the Norwalk River, which flows alongside the Grange property. At about 4 p.m., when the fair ends, all the edible items entered in the contests will be auctioned.

Anyone interested in entering an item can fill out an application in the Cannon Grange Fair books located at various spots around town — including the library or the Village Market — and mail it to the organizers. Entries can also be hand-delivered to the Grange on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 7 to 9 a.m. for an additional fee.

The 79th Anniversary Cannon Grange Agricultural Fair & Exposition takes place Sunday, Aug. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cannon Grange Hall, 25 Cannon Road, Wilton. Admission to the fair is $2 per person with children under 12 admitted free.

Have you entered anything into the Grange Fair over the years? Are you planning to do so this year? Leave a comment below. Find on Facebook and like us.

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