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Haddam Neck Fair 2017: Behind the Scenes

Submitted by Dianne McHutchison.

HN Fair horses2016 WORK NIGHTS

A group of very productive volunteers began showing up starting in June on Wednesday nights, some of them regularly coming from across the river. They undertook some major projects that had been put aside for years.

The horse pulling ring was in need of repairs to the posts, and railings, some of them damaged by horses chewing on them. Approximately half of the ring was replaced and stained. Additional work to the ring will be done in 2017. The traditional Bandstand, built many years ago and hurriedly moved around the fairgrounds several times over the years, had cracked or rotted posts and railings and some major structural damage. While there is still are some work to be done, its condition is much improved.

This year, students from the Vinal Technical High School in Middletown joined our volunteer force. They scheduled two work days in both the spring and fall. Some of their projects included painting the inside of the vegetable/flower building, painting the bleachers, and trimming and cleaning up along the perimeter fence. One of the Vinal supervisors has offered to build long-overdue new display cases for the Arts and Hobbies Department. Also the Vinal students will return next year for work to include carpentry and possibly the electrical class.

The Haddam Neck Fair is fortunate to have the strong support of volunteers and is happy to welcome students from Vinal Technical High School.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact David Tozier at 860-416-4302, Dianne McHutchison at 860-267-4671, or Angie Tegge at 860-301-0841.


Mark Dumond, of Colchester, after many years of service, has decided to retire as a member of the Board of Directors of the Haddam Neck Fair.

In a twenty-seven year span, Mark has made many, many contributions to the success of the Fair. He served as Fair President from 1995-1996, was in charge of the fair gate for many years, supervised the food vendors, handled radio advertising and consulted on electrical upgrades and undertook many other chores and errands. He has been a tremendous asset to the Fair.

The Directors welcome Baret Spencer, a young, longtime Haddam Neck resident, to the Board. One of his first assignments will be to manage the Truck and Tractor Pulling Ring.

Susan Rutty, who has served as Treasurer for the past five years, hit the term limit and now will now serve as Assistant Treasurer. Susan has done an excellent job . We have all benefited from her accuracy and quick and cheerful way of going about a large and difficult job. Betty LaBella will be the new Treasurer.


This year the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds looked especially welcoming thanks to the 20 new benches which were placed around the grounds. These benches were an Eagle Scout project spearheaded by Samuel Rutty, of Chester. He is the grandson of Fair Directors Susan and Wayne Rutty.

The benches were purchased by stockholders, directors and volunteers to honor or memorialize a friend or family member. The benches sold quickly and were assembled and installed by Sam and Boy Scouts and leaders from Chester Troop #13.

The Haddam Neck Fair Association appreciates the hard work that Samuel Rutty did to make the fairgrounds more inviting for visitors.


Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings, everyone!

This past year flew by. It was filled with lots of planning, discussions, and a great deal of hard work by our volunteers and Directors. Our Fair would not be such a success without out all of your participation and contributions, thank you!

This year a new gate and fence plan were put into effect and turned out to be very successful. With very little effort once in place, the plan allowed us to improve accountability, increase safety, and reduce traffic congestion. Being able to have a reasonably accurate count of fair attendees was an accomplishment that has been a long time coming. Getting general vehicle traffic off the pedestrian entrance roadway greatly improved pedestrian safety and eliminated the traffic jams on Haddam Neck Road and Route 151 altogether. This truly helped make this Fair a greater success.

As we look forward to this coming year, our 106th fair, the Board and I plan to refine and improve on the major projects that were started this past year. This includes improving the new gate and entryways as well as making changes that will be noticeable in the Fair kitchen, food court areas, and major improvements to the display cases in the Grange Hall. It is already shaping up to be another excellent Fair season.

In closing, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May your Holiday season be filled with laughter and good cheer. Giving back is the true meaning of happiness and one that we share in our Fair association. Thank you again for all you do for our Fair, our friends, and our communities. The Board and I sincerely wish everyone a happy, prosperous and successful 2017. See you next year!

David Tozier – President

Haddam Neck Fair Board of Directors:

  • David Tozier – President
  • Randy Spencer – Vice President
  • Amy Casey – Secretary
  • Dianne McHutchison – Assistant Secretary
  • Betty LaBella – Treasurer
  • Susan Rutty – Assistant Treasurer
  • Frances Dallas, Bob McGarry, Sue Olsen, Barat Spencer, Angie Tegge, Mike Stevens

2017 Fair Dates – Labor Day Weekend (Friday, September 1 through Monday, September 4, 2017. For more information, see the Haddam Neck Fair Website.