More than 100 things to do, see, taste at Fair at New Boston

Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO

There’s an organization that celebrates its milestone anniversaries not by the number of years it has existed, but by how many years back it goes.

When The Fair at New Boston marks its 35th year this weekend, it will do so by bringing the year Springfield’s earliest settlers arrived – 1797 – to the area the Hertzler House where George Rogers Clark Park, the fair’s sight, now stands.

Battle recreations, Native American villages, smells, tastes and sights and other slices of 18th Century life will be recreated 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 at the Park, located at 936 South Tecumseh Road.

“This is a huge landmark year for us. We’re in our prime, bigger and stronger and always adding more things to see and do,” said Pam Cottrel, Fair at New Boston marketing director.

While the historic recreations are a draw with 115 things to do and see, the unique food, artisans and merchants are too. Cottrel said these will be expanded in 2017.

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Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO

THE FOOD AND DRINKS

Adults 21 and older can now try hard cider in the tavern, along with beer. There will also be elk meat sold for the first time, along with popular bison and pork chops.

True to the time period, those choices reflected what the settlers of the time would have had available. Don’t forget dessert – strawberry crepes will be offered for the first time.

Full food offerings here.

Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO

LIVING HISTORY

The Native American Village is larger than ever with more dwellings — the largest and most accurate recreation of its type Cottrel said.

The event planners work with an expert, doing updates such as replacing canvas coverings with bark on the wigwams, not teepees as is often mistaken, along with a large walk-through lodge.

The cabins of the time are now surrounded by a fence also made of materials settlers would find.

It’s that type of commitment that brings in 600 people in proper period attire from Ohio and other states. The organizers work all year to make each fair experience unique, which is one of the ways the fair has improved most since the beginning.

“We learned to be smart and always try to vary and expand, make it better,” said Cottrel.”We love history, from what we’re wearing and serving, making sure we are as accurate as we can be.”

Another new addition is a lady who does makeup as done in that time period. The colors can be incorporated into today’s makeup.

>> Fair at New Boston creates years of memories

A list of artisans.

A list of merchants.

Eric Scites, a performer at The Fair at New Boston demonstrates the “shell and pea” game for fourth grade students from Indian Valley Elementary School. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Caption
Eric Scites, a performer at The Fair at New Boston demonstrates the “shell and pea” game for fourth grade students from Indian Valley Elementary School. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Credit: Jeff Guerini

Credit: Jeff Guerini

ENTERTAINMENT

This year’s open air play is “Crispin,” a comedy from the time about a valet. And the battle re-enactment will be mid afternoon both days; the times will be announced.

The fair gets a tune-up on the Friday before the opening when thousands of area students get to an exclusive preview everything during Education Day. Cottrell said history education is a goal of the event.

The full entertainment schedule.

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RAIN OR SHINE

She added that bad weather won’t stop the fair just as it didn’t stop the settlers, nor do any of the participants close early.

“People need to take the time to see everything. We never tear down early; the entertainment, food and vendors stay open until 6 each day.”

>> PHOTOS: Fair at New Boston

Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE

For the first time, tickets can be purchased online. An additional online discount is available for those who purchase by Friday. To buy tickets or for more information, go to www.fairatnewboston.org.

Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for cash only.

Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Caption
Step back in time at the Fair at New Boston, Labor Day weekend in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF FILE PHOTO


WANT TO GO?

What: The Fair at New Boston

Where: George Rogers Clark Park, 936 South Tecumseh Road, Springfield. Click here for directions.

When: Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Ages 12-older $10; active military with ID $7; children ages 6-11 $3; and children ages 5-under free

More info:www.fairatnewboston.org

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