Following a rare absence in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, America's oldest fair is making a return this fall.
The Topsfield Fair, which was first held in 1818, will be back after a one-year hiatus from Oct. 1-11 in Topsfield.
Last year was just the fifth time the fair wasn't held in its history. The 1918 edition of the fair was cancelled due to the Spanish flu pandemic, while the fair wasn't held from 1943-45 due to World War II.
"Having to cancel last year's Topsfield Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating," Topsfield Fair General Manager James O'Brien said. "We are thrilled to announce that the Fair will return this year with no restrictions and we look forward to seeing everyone on the fairgrounds in October."
O'Brien noted that when the fair returned in 1946 following the end of the war, it opened to record-breaking attendance. He expects a similar turnout in 2021.
"Knowing how much people have missed going to events, I expect this year's fair will be a banner year for attendance," O'Brien said, adding that additional sinks and hand-sanitizing stations have been installed for safety and convenience.
Tickets for the fair, which is organized by the Essex Agricultural Society, will cost $12 before the event and $15 for admission during the fair's run. Tickets may be purchased at www.TopsfieldFair.org.
A schedule of concerts at the fair, free with admission, will be announced at a later date.