The Winhall Industrial Society, a non-profit, all-volunteer group, which is charged with the annual endeavor of conducting the Fair, welcomes you to the 2019 BONDVILLE FAIR, OUR 222TH YEAR.
The Bondville Fair is the oldest continuous fair in Vermont. This year the three-day format, which was introduced in 1995, will again be offered for your enjoyment. New events and more entertainment than ever before have been included in the expansion of this family-oriented event.
Constructive criticism is always welcomed. Please make your views known to any staff member.
All stock and articles entered in any category must be under the care and control of the owner and entered at his/her own risk during the fair. Other than People Assisting (seeing eye, hearing) and during the Children's Pet Show DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED anywhere on the Fairgrounds. If pets are found left in vehicles, police will be notified.
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the Fairgrounds.
THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS TO THESE POLICIES.
THANKS AND APPRECIATION
The members of the society are indebted to their sponsors and advertisers for their interest in and support of the fair. It would have been impossible to conduct the Fair in its present format without their assistance.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR WINHALL
FIRE: 824-3166 | POLICE: 297-2121 | 911
THE HISTORY OF THE BONDVILLE FAIR
In 1791 the Town of Winhall received its state charter which, among many other things, specified that the Town could have two fairs each year. The Town was incorporated in 1796 with the first Bondville Fair being held the following year.
The Fair was held one day each October, and, after the National Grange was established in 1867, Grange Day in the Spring became the other offering.
In its earliest years, the Fair was held at the Monteverde Hotel, west of the present post office. Foot races and horse races were run through the village, introduced by a band from Manchester. Then the Fair moved eastward, to the site of the current Outback Restaurant. It moved to its present location in the 20's, when Floral Hall was built. The Dance/Crafts Hall was added in the 30's, and other facilities through the 1980’s. The newest structures are the sugar house (1999) and the schoolhouse (2000).
Life was hard for families on the Vermont mountain farms pre-WWII, so you can imagine how people looked forward to the annual Bondville Fair. It brought in a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, square dancing, games of chance, a horse pull, agricultural and handcraft exhibits, and, yes a girlie show (for men 18 and older), and a lot of hard drinking.
In fact, the Bondville Fair was known state-wide as a pretty wild affair. During Prohibition homemade hard cider of a lethal potency was passed around freely. However, the 1960's brought sobriety to the Fair and exile for the girlies.
Many folk over the years have worked hard to preserve the tradition of our Fair. In the last sixty years we are grateful to Win Hosley, Louie Roberts, Walter Rawson, Sprague Lyons, David Glabach, Robert Vail and now John Angermeyer, hardworking presidents of the Winhall Industrial Society, Inc., the sponsor of the Fair. Under its guidance and through the work of many devoted volunteers, the buildings and grounds have been maintained and added to. New activities appear each year, designed to appeal to children and adults of all ages.
But one thing has definitely not changed. Competition for those blue ribbons and rosettes is as fierce as it ever was, even two hundred years ago.
Society Officers and Directors
Presidents: Rocky Fratus
Vice President: Scott Bushee
Secretary: Aimee Braxmeier
Treasurer: Rosemary Sisto
Animals: Aimee Braxmeier
Entertainment: Rocky Fratus
Floral Hall: Emmett Dunbar, assistants Lorraine Farmer, Helen Vail, & Shirley Litwak
Quilt Show: Rosemary Sisto
Concessions: Rocky Fratus
Admissions: Scott Bushee
Grounds: Lawrence Grant
Parking: Scott Bushee
Crafts: Rosemary Sisto
Track events: Aimee Braxmeier and Trevor Dryden
The Winhall Industrial Society is always in need of more volunteers.
If you or someone you know is interested, please contact the fair office at 802-297-2927.
AILENE CAPEN, ELIZABETH CRICHTON AND JOHN GARDNER
A Bondville native, Ailene Norse Capen attended local schools and then graduated from the University of Vermont. She taught English and Latin at Bennington High School for many years. Always retaining her local roots, for over forty years she participated in the Fair as a judge, supervisor, and greeter in Floral Hall. To mark her long active role in and devotion to the Fair, Floral Hall was named in her honor prior to the 2000 Fair.
Elizabeth Crichton began spending summers in Bondville in1932 when her mother Mary Greene bought a farm here. With time out for college (Smith) and World War II she was back with husband Andy and two boys in the early Fifties gardening and quilting and resting up from her winter chores as teacher and principal. On retirement she became very involved with the Fair, serving both as Secretary of the Fair and Publicity Director. She was Superintendent of Floral Hall prior to starting the quilt exhbit in 1995, two years before the Crichtons became year-round Bondvillians. The Crafts-Quilt Hall was named in her honor in 2002.
While John Gardner was actually born in New Jersey he came to Bondville at a very early age and attended Winhall Elementary Schools prior to graduating from Leland and Gray, as well as Albany Business College. He served in Europe with the Air Force during World War II. After the war John returned to New Jersey where he worked as a longshoreman, always returning to Bondville for the summer and for participation in several capacities during the Fair. After his death in 1995 the new stage was built with donations
Four things you probably didn't know about the Bondville Fair...
We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization always looking for new friends to share their talents in helping us conduct the "Biggest Little Fair" in Vermont!
Thousands of dollars have been donated to local organizations including Grace Cottage Hospital, Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad, Winhall Fire Department and many other private donations.
We offer a Scholarship fund to graduating seniors and have distributed over $10,000 in funding over the past several years.
The Fairgrounds are available to rent for events such as family reunions, wedding receptions, RV and camping retreats, or any other cause for gathering.