BENNINGTON — The Bennington Farmers Market is encouraging cooks, bakers and growers to participate in a food contest for the Sept. 10 Old Fashioned County Fair.
Anytime after 10 a.m. there will be an opportunity to win heaviest tomato, longest zucchini, most bizarre vegetable and the most attractive vegetable; the latter will win popular vote. For prepared food, there will be contests for zucchini bread, jam, jelly or preserves and salsa, all judged by local food professionals, according to a release. Winners will receive a blue ribbon.
Various fair games that are decades old will be played along with agriculture trivia. Farmers market board member and special events committee chair Audrey Pietrucha said there was talk during a board meeting of the lack of a county fair. As part of this year's series of special events, the committee decided to recreate a small-scale county fair at the market. The fall apple pie contest is a traditional staple, but Pietrucha said the board has watched the response to special events that have been implemented this year in hopes to bring them back.
"I think the event in general is going to be a lot of fun and the carnival games will be a lot of fun to watch," she said.
Fair features include a kissing booth where people can guess how many chocolate Hershey Kisses sit in a jar, pickles in a barrel where people toss odd shaped cucumbers into a barrel of water, a coin toss, and knocking down a pyramid of cups with a ball.
Alan Baker, who's also part of the committee and has a farm in Shaftsbury, said he hopes the event will draw people who have never been to the market before.
"Everyone's welcome to enter. Hopefully there's lots of backyard gardeners that will enter," he said. "It just should be a fun day for everyone whether you want to enter the skill competitions or the food competitions."
There will be a tent at each side of the market for participants to enter the food contests.
The Old Fashioned County Fair Farmers Market runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 10. The market runs along the Walloomsac River Walk next to Bennington Station. Inquires can be directed to Pietrucha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-490-6471.