‘Really Good to be Back': Vermont Summer Tradition Returns From COVID Hiatus

The Addison County Fair & Field Days kicked off Tuesday

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A beloved August tradition is underway in Vermont’s Addison County, after the event couldn’t happen last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It feels good to be able to take my girls out,” said Abe Miller, a father of 2-year-old triplets he brought to the Addison County Fair and Field Days for the first time Tuesday. “They can see the same things I saw” growing up.

The five-day celebration of Vermont agriculture, plus rides, games, food and other fun, kicked off Tuesday morning.

“It’s really good to be back,” said Benj Deppman, one of the Addison County Fair & Field Days' directors.

If you're planning a trip to Canada, the rules blocking tourist visits are lifted for fully vaccinated people.

The event shut down for 2020, along with Vermont’s other iconic summer fairs, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by pausing big gatherings and a lot of interstate travel.

In returning, Field Days organizers required event directors, paid employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID, according to the event’s website, while strongly recommending vaccines for volunteers and masks for anyone unvaccinated going indoors.

“And so many of our buildings have great ventilation and are wide open on the ends,” Deppman noted. “It just felt it was a good decision to come back.”

Middlebury Regional EMS is at the fairgrounds all week giving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, aiming to grow Vermont’s nation-leading vaccine total — along with everything else you can get here.

“Cotton candy, fried bread dough— and your vaccination shot,” observed Rick Iffland of Middlebury Regional EMS.

Click here for more information from the Vermont Department of Health on other walk-in vaccine clinics scheduled around the state. 

As for Abe Miller and his family, whether watching chicks hatching or meeting a goat, this is exactly the kind of summer memory the great-grandmother of Miller’s triplets wanted for her family.

“I love bringing the kids,” great-grandmother Fern Wyman said. “I’ve done it for three generations!”

The Addison County Fair & Field Days run through Saturday night. 

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