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Lyme - Friday evening was filled with excitement for the many residents who streamed into the Lyme Grange Fairgrounds for the 113th Hamburg Fair.
Children ran over to greet goats in a petting zoo, people danced along to country and rock music from a live band, friends raced each other down slides and families gathered to watch the event's pony pull.
The smell of fried dough and treats from food vendors wafted through the air, children ran through a fun house and shrieked while on rides and friends gathered to catch up at the annual event. Other fair-goers enjoyed looking over an array of vegetables entered into the annual competition.
"We've gone here forever, since we were children," said Adrienne Wood of Canterbury, who grew up in Lyme and was attending the fair with her sister and her niece.
"I like the animals, the food," said Wood. "It's our hometown fair."
Many fair-goers gathered at a tent featuring small animals and poultry that will be judged in a competition this morning. This year, among the rabbits and ducks, there were also some types of animals new to the fair, including a turkey, a turken hen - a breed of chicken without feathers on its neck - and a hen with its 3-day-old chicks.
Sharon Moroch of Colchester, who cares for the animals entered into the competition during the fair, said her favorite part of the animal competition is seeing how much people like visiting the animals.
"I enjoy seeing the people," she said. "I enjoy the children."
Connie Giuliano lives in Lyme and brought her two young children to Friday's festivities.
"They're having a blast," she said. "They like seeing the little chicks and petting the alpacas. Next we'll go on the rides."
Three-year-old Lillian and 2-year-old Charlotte Reynolds were among the children having fun on Friday night.
They smiled gleefully as they sat in their stroller and created a cloud of bubbles from bubble-machine toys, as their parents and friends gathered around them.
Their father, Hayden Reynolds, of Reynolds Subaru across the street, said he grew up going to the Hamburg Fair, the end-of-the-summer event that signaled that school was just around the corner.
Now his children were enjoying themselves at the fair, just as he did.
"They'll sleep good tonight," he said.
The event will continue this weekend with activities such as the horse pull and 8 Mile River Band today and the ox pull on Sunday. For more information, visit www.hamburgfair.org.