I'm a big fan of public gatherings, so when I heard about the Topsfield Fair, I knew I had to go. It's a long-running tradition started in 1818--one of the oldest fairs in the US, in fact--and it's host to the famous giant pumpkin contest. This year didn't beat the record two ton pumpkin from 2009, but this year's pumpkin still weighed in at 1900 pounds. Unfortunately, the day I attended was pretty rainy, but that didn't stop the crowds from checking out the performances and demonstrations.

I don't know what exactly draws me to these sorts of events. I love the sense of community, for one. And while I grew up going to rural fairs, I never expected to find such an agriculturally-focused fair so close to Boston. While a lot of the outdoor activities were hampered by the weather, it was great to see the beeswax craftmaking, milking demonstrations, model railroads, award-winning flowers, fancy chickens and rabbits, giant pumpkins, and everything else that comes with a fair. Oh, and there was a giant pink elephant there for some reason!

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