With "Outdoor Fun" the theme for this year's Danbury Grange and Community Fair parade, Ruth Bidwell not only encouraged people to have fun in the sun; she also snapped photos from her bike as she enjoyed her love for outdoor photography. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2021DANBURY ¬– This year marked the celebration of the 107th annual Danbury Grange & Community Fair, and after a somewhat subdued event due to the Covid-29 virus in 2020, residents past and present happy to join together once more on Sept. 11 to celebrate their rural community.
"It's Small Town America, and we love it that way. The Grange Fair is the spirit of Danbury," said event organizer Lisa Windsor.
Windsor was one of several volunteers who began nearly five months ago to bring the fair back to life this year.
The day began at 8:30 a.m. with the traditional sale of breakfast sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and fried dough that went on until 1 p.m. The Lee Knapp American Legion Post 59 opened their doors at 9 a.m. for their annual Attic Treasures Sale, while children's old time games, a bubble play area, craft tents and agricultural exhibits/judging got underway at 10 a.m.. At that time parade participants also headed to Restful Rd. were they were instructed on line-up procedures and judged for awards in several categories. This year's theme was "Outdoor Fun" and while an overwhelming number of entries went along with the theme, there was also a lot of Red, White and Blue in the parade this year, honoring not only local veterans, but those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the nation that same day 20 years ago.
Throughout the morning and early afternoon hours, people shopped, ate and chatted with friends and neighbors while enjoying the music of Lindsey Schust and the Ragged Mountain Band.
"What was really special this year is that one of the members of the band has moved to North Carolina but came up this weekend just to play with the band. That's how meaningful this event is to people from Danbury," aid Windsor.
The parade this year was led off by an Honor Guard from American Legion Post 59. Loud cheers were also heard for a convertible carrying military veterans Ed Roche, Danbury's current Boston Post Cane holder, Hayden Martz, and their driver Doug Colby who is himself is also a veteran. Behind them were dozens of entries expressing their love for numerous outdoor sports, such as ATVs, bicycling, skiing, swimming, camping, fishing, off-road adventures and horseback riding. Days at the beach were also saluted with children building sandcastles in the back of one float.
Beautiful oxen and antique cars also made their way along the route to appreciative cheers and applause from the crowd.
Perhaps arguably the most anticipated afternoon event was the annual Bed Race. No one is sure if any other towns hold annual bed races, but Danbury's Grange Fair is known for its years-long competition and crowds enjoy it immensely each time the old bed races down the street. This year four teams signed up to climb aboard the rusty old metal bedframe, which has been outfitted with a quilt and wheels. Rolling across the finish line with the top time this year was Team Bed Wetters.
Other events that day were a silent auction, a dutch auction, a horseshoe tournament at Independence Park and a tractor pull.
At 5 p.m. bluegrass music from the band Cardigan Mt. Tradition filled the air as people grabbed a take out meal from the grange hall then grabbed a seat around the bandstand set up across the street.
"It was a great time, and we were once again blessed with good weather. If you talk to people, many can't even remember if they ever even missed a year. It's really special to us," Windsor said.