Thursday Doors–Haddam Neck Fair

The store is open today.
The store is open today.

Today you’re going to have to use your imagination. I have a picture of doors, but they are open. Still, I think you can get the flavor of the building from the photo and I’m pretty sure you will all be able to imagine the setting. County fairs, agricultural fairs, 4-H fairs all have so many things in common that I probably don’t even need the pictures, but, you know that I love to include pictures.

I mentioned the Haddam Neck Fair when I was talking about Directions. The fair is a famous we-got-lost-on-the-way-to event in our marriage, but we have long since gotten familiar with the general location and I’ve replaced my map of the eastern United States with a GPS. Our daughter Faith has been hiking a lot this summer, so I suggested that we hike in nearby (to the fair) Hurd State Park and reward ourselves for all that exercise with a sausage grinder.

Faith is a vegetarian, but she really likes hiking, so the offer was accepted, even though she didn’t get a sausage grinder.

The hike was short, about 4 miles with a slight elevation gain. We parked in the middle of the park, hiked down to the Connecticut River, up onto a rock outcropping that overlooks the river, and then back to our car along the road that bisects the park. Two miles later, we were in search of Sausage One. That’s what the Haddam Neck Volunteer Fire Department have named the fire-engine-red trailer from which they dispense some of the finest sausage grinders on the planet. Across the “courtyard” from Sausage One is a guy who sells the world’s best French Fries.

But, it’s not all about the food.

We climbed into the bleachers with our fries (grinder, long gone) and watched a Dog Agility Demonstration. The dogs were so much fun to watch. Since it was a demonstration, there were a lot of agile-dogs-in-training in the group. Next up, a meet-and-greet with the Irish Setter from the group of agile hounds, followed by a short stay at the tractor pull. We would have stayed longer at the tractor pull, but the guy running the pay loader apparently attended the Martha Stewart School of track preparation. 25 seconds to pull the sled and 20 minutes to repair the damage. Maybe if I had a second grinder and it had been 15 degrees cooler, but no.

From there, we stopped to see the staple of New England agricultural fairs, the Hit & Miss engine display. You can hear this exhibit long before you see it, but if you’re with me, you know you are going to see it. We wandered around the rest of the exhibits, vendors, games, rides and animal displays before snagging an ice cream and heading home.

I hope you enjoy the three short videos and the photos from our hike and the fair. This post is part of Norm Frampton’s amazing Thursday Doors series that is taking the Internet by storm. Anyone can participate, all you need is a door. However, if you add a door, please click the little blue button thingie on Norm’s page to add your door to the official list.

48 thoughts on “Thursday Doors–Haddam Neck Fair

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    1. Thanks Judy. That’s how I feel about church doors too, if they’re open, its a good thing, especially in light of your post today. Hit & Miss engines were a staple of early farms because they represented portable power. We see them at the 4-Town Fair in N. Central CT every year. They are right inside the main gate so my family know that, if we skipp them on the way in, we’re checking them out before we leave.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was fun. The hike was hard enough to make me feel I earned the grinder. As for the “taking by storm” thing, if you said that Norm, it would be hype. I think I can get away with it. If not, I’ll play the age card. Being 60 has to be worth something.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Beautiful views, time with your daughter, sausage grinders and french fries, dog agility training (that setter is gorgeous), loud engines…what else do you need? Sounds like a wonderful day. Thanks for taking us along for the ride., I mean, hike.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s 9am and I want fries! Home fries may well be my second brekkie! lol
    I like the open doors. In fact, one of the doors I photographed, I kinda wish it had been open. I think it would have photographed better.
    I love the pump-spigot-thing where you got water. That’s a great pic.
    Looks like a good day :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. The listed “water available” at two places on the map. We had to try. They were giving good tasting water with about five pumps. I have a bunch of pictures of open Church doors. The only problem is that, sometimes, the back side is pretty plain by comparison. Home fries are always good.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the head’s up on the link. I guess people will have to find it there for now, as I have had zero luck updating long links on my phone/tablet. We did have a fun day, beautiful weather and good food. Thanks again.


  3. Wow wow wow!!! What a complex post to put together, Dan!! Sounds and looks like you had a fun packed day. I really enjoyed the nature pictures expecially the ones of the trees, the lake, and the rocks. Those doors at the beginning of the post just welcomed all of us in to enjoy this wonderful post. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this one!!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I twas a fun-filled day and I had a hard time limiting myself on photos. I normally don’t do so many, but I just liked them all. I’m glad the open doors are working for folks. I did feel good about including these.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Uh, Dan, there are ladies’ hats and intriguing little boutique-y things on the table through those open doors. You cannot throw open the doors to a shop like that and not take me inside! Not even if you ARE on a mission for a sausage grinder! I’ll forgive you this time but that kind of tease could be grounds for ‘unfollow’!

    Now, on to the hike… Two thumbs up on this one. Beautiful path, always love trees, and that mushroom is not one I’ve seen before. Looks like it’s decked out in lace for the Fair.

    Now I’m off to view the videos.

    I tried Norm’s blue button but I have THE MOST uncooperative computers ever. Will keep trying!

    What did Faith eat?

    Taking the internet by storm LOL some of your finest writing yet😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am sorry Sammy for not venturing in the shop. I don’t usually take photos at the stands because I don’t want to give the impression that I am stealing ideas. I’ll pay closer attention next fair. I have no idea what kind of mushroom that is but we joked about the 1,000 reasons we weren’t going to try and eat it. Faith had french fries and ice cream :)

      Thanks for the comment (and the threat is duly noted)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This looks very much like a cross between the annual “Steam Show” we have up here in the middle of July and the Fall Fair which will be running next weekend. They never change much from year to year, but I guess that’s part of their charm. B/c let’s be honest, I think most of us go to these things more for the excuse to eat fries and sausage anyway, right!? I could NEVER in a billion years be a vegetarian. I drive by a field full of cows and I’m instantly carving them into a variety of steaks in my head. :P Anyway, great post, Dan, and glad you had a good time. Always enjoy seeing your pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. I go to this fair in order to visit Sausage One. In my younger days, I would get a grinder on the way in and another on the way out with fries and ice cream in between. Now, I end with ice cream, but I think I could have eaten a 2nd grinder on Saturday after that hike. We have two more fairs coming up that I will probably write about. Is the Steam Show engines and machinery or clams and corn?


  6. Dan, what an interesting post. You took me right back to the Wilkin County fair, Minnesota, 1976.
    Down here, down under, we have the A&P (agricultural and pastoral) Show, each spring. Amongst other things there are usually displays of handcrafts and foods stalls and dog agility, wood chopping demonstrations, and wait for it … engines that enthusiasts set to putter and stutter like those in your clip. I don’t know what it is about those things, they smell, they’re noisy, and they’re not going anywhere, but they’re fascinating to watch – for a few minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful scenery, Dan. I’ve been to county fairs, but not agricultural fairs, so thanks for taking me there via this post and the pictures. I clicked on one video, but it’s still trying to open in a different window. Beautiful, welcoming doors to an interesting store, by the looks of it. And I absolutely love hikes. We hike here in the Santa Clarita and Santa Susana mountains. I’ll have to take some pics next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Silvia. I would love to see pictures from those hikes. I’ve never hiked in you part of the country. These fairs are steeped in tradition and we usually make it to a couple each year. There are several large ones on Labor Day weekend. This one is a little smaller but we like it.


    1. We’ve watched as some faded away, but this one has held up well. The first time my wife and I attended, they featured a junior (14 and under) “lawn tractor pull” – it was so much fun to see the kids on their brand name lawnmowers pulling a hand-crafted sled. It’s all about people having fun – thanks for the comment Glynis.


  8. Well, Dan, I ran out of time at work on breaks, I am systematic at reading and commenting.
    That semi-apologetic comment given snd said: This post was enrrgetic, dynamic and interesting. So much more than doors being talked about.
    I enjoyed the beauty in nature, the rusty pump handle, the views, Faith stretching and the hike.
    I liked the handicrafts shown on display snd marvel at hats, too. I saw previous commenter who noted them :) I would have had fries or a funnel cake. I will have a couple of Lake Erie walleye fish sandwiches this next week staring 9/19 thru 9/26.
    There is always a big section of antique farm equipment at iur Delaware County Fair, which have some hand cranking involved. My son loved all the loud noise and the old farmers loved his stopping by to ask questions, Dan.
    Tomorrow, heading over to watch the free exhibition of the Budweiser Clydesdales around the harness racing track. The boys are excited since we will miss part of the Sunday All Horse Parade which is considered the largest in the Midwest. We will be watching middle school football with Skyler playing during part of parade time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I should have snuck in and snagged some photos of those hats. Sorry ladies. Your weekend sounds great Robin, especially the Clydesdales. I love watching them. I’ve never seen an all horse parade, if you get some pictures, please share. Good luck to the middle school team. Thanks for your support over here.


  9. This was really unique. Something that I’ve never seen. Honestly, I am actually touring New England with the help of your images and videos. Not sure, if I’ll ever come to US, but with friends like you I get the opportunity to travel virtually. :) Didn’t see Faith in the video.


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