Started in 1818 to promote agriculture, the Topsfield Fair has attractions that feel proudly stuck in the past: milking demonstrations, apple pie contests, sheep obstacle courses. The 2012 event claimed to showcase the world’s first 1-ton pumpkin, yet tinier harvests (hot peppers, anyone?) are also celebrated. Modern diversions — thrill rides, a demolition derby, concerts by pop starlets — round out the fair, which closes October 14.
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