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Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Three County Fair kicks off its 206th consecutive edition Friday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 4 with advance discounted tickets going on sale Friday, June 30.

“We welcomed some of the largest crowds back to the fairgrounds last September, and in return we have put together a family-friendly festival with thrilling experiences for everyone,” said James Przypek, general manager of the Three County Fair. “We are especially excited about two different ‘you need to see it to believe it’ national acts at this year’s fair, the Magic of Lance Gifford and the American Motor Drome Company’s Wall of Death.”

The Three County Fair is well known for its motorsports events, such as its unique school-bus and minivan demolition derbies, car ‘enduro’ and lawnmower racing, plus truck and tractor pulls. The fair also boasts a wide selection of thrill rides for all ages, its Baby Barnyard, racing pigs, a parakeet encounter, a dozen different food trucks, and agricultural and livestock competitions featured daily.

“Live music will once again be a big part of Labor Day weekend at the Three County Fair,” Przypek noted. “We have North America’s number-one Shania Twain tribute artist, Shania Twin, with Canadian native Donna Huber performing with her band, plus local favorites such as American Idol contestant Katherine Winston and The Voice contestant Cara Brindisi.”

In all, the fair will have 15 different live music performances over the four days, all of which are free with general admission to the fair.

Parking at the fair is free, and general admission to the fair is free for children ages 11 and under. Adult admission is $12 when purchased in advance online and $15 at the gate. Discounts are also available at the gate for seniors and veterans. The popular four-day pass can be purchased for $30 on the fair’s website up until the day before the fair.

Fairgoers are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance exclusively at 3countyfair.com to save money and time by allowing them to skip the lines at the ticket booth and proceed right to the gates for contactless entry.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit 3countyfair.com.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages Northampton’s Three County Fair and fairgrounds, recently elected its newest president, Thomas Smiarowski, who has been a member of the society for more than 20 years and was elected to its board of directors in 2016.

Smiarowski is expected to serve two years as president, leading the society’s board of directors, which consists of 21 other appointees who make up the fair’s agricultural leadership. The society was first organized in December 1817 by a group of area leaders in business and farming with the purpose of promoting agriculture and the domestic arts. The society received its charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts two months later in February 1818.

“It is an honor and privilege being elected to serve as president of the Three County Fair,” Smiarowski said. “Agricultural fairs play a vital role in providing opportunities for farmers, both young and old, to exhibit their livestock and agricultural products. Equally important, agricultural fairs provide members of the local community the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at farming and interact with farmers. The Three County Fair has a rich history of serving the community in those capacities, and I look forward to continuing that tradition and building upon that history.”

Smiarowski grew up on his family’s vegetable and dairy farm in Montague, where he continues to help his brother Dan, who currently owns and operates the family farm. Following his graduation from UMass Amherst, Smiarowski worked 34 years for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, holding a number of management positions. Following his retirement from USDA in 2012, he worked 10 years as an agricultural risk-management educator for UMass Extension.

He is currently a director of the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, the longest-standing agricultural club in the country; serves as a Massachusetts trustee of the Eastern States Exposition; and is a member of the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Assoc. He also serves on the capital campaign to fund the new construction of the Newman Catholic Center on the UMass campus.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages Northampton’s Three County Fair and fairgrounds, has elected two new members to its board of directors, Jessica Dizek of Mapleline Farm in Hadley and Thomas Giles, former owner of Hadley Garden Center.

Dizek and Giles join the society’s board, consisting of 21 other members who make up the fair’s agricultural leadership. The society held its first meeting in December 1817 and received its charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts two months later in February 1818.

Dizek is the fifth generation on her family’s farm. Mapleline Farm milks about 125 Jerseys and bottles their milk on the farm premises, while running a distribution business, wholesaling fluid milk products to the local area and Boston market.

Prior to her taking over operating the farm full-time in 2018, Dizek held full-time employment off the farm for 20 years, most recently at UMass Amherst. She started at the university working for cooperative extension programs and eventually working in alumni major gifts. During this time, she also earned her MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She currently serves as treasurer for the New England Jersey Breeders Assoc. and as a director for the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board, and is a member of the Massachusetts Dairy Advisory Board for the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center.

Giles is a graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, having majored in landscape operations, and first worked for the Hadley Garden Center in the spring of 1973. In January 1988, Giles and his wife, Janine, purchased the center and ran it for 33 years until selling it to Gardeners Supply Co. of Vermont in January 2020.

Giles is an active member of the First Congregational Church of Hadley and is on the board of directors for Easthampton Savings Bank and has also served on the horticulture/forestry advisory committee at Smith Vocational High School.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Three County Fair is back, returning on Labor Day weekend, Friday, Sept. 3 through Monday, Sept. 6.

“We could not be more thrilled that everyone continues to get vaccinated and that Massachusetts businesses can operate at 100% capacity,” said James Przypek, general manager of the Three County Fair. “Like all businesses and families, we took a series of cutbacks and steps to get us to this point, and we are proud to still be here planning a late-summer experience that fairgoers can cherish.”

Last year, the COVID-19 health crisis forced the fair to be closed to the public while hosting only limited arts, baking, crafts, and livestock competitions to comply with capacity restrictions. This year, the 204th consecutive fair returns to normal operations and capacities with discounted general admission and four-day passes on sale exclusively at 3countyfair.com.

The fair’s attractions include carnival-style rides and games; adult and youth livestock, agricultural, and arts and crafts competitions; live music concerts; area food trucks; comedy variety shows; plus the ever-popular demolition derbies each day.

General admission to the fair is $15 for ages 12 and up and free for ages 11 and under, with discounts for seniors and veterans. Further discounts are available by purchasing tickets online and in advance on the fair’s website. For example, the four-day pass, sold online only for $30, is 50% off the gate price for a general-admission adult ticket for four days.

Przypek encouraged fairgoers to get their tickets in advance to save money, plus get speedy and contactless entrance onto the fairgrounds. “We also know that everyone had a rough 14 months to weather; therefore, we have made parking free at the fair this year as a way to welcome back returning guests and incentivize new ones.”