A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 168

Enjoy a day at the circus

The theme of the 9th Annual Hay Day, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, is The Circus, and the wacky events associated with this off-beat festival will arrange themselves accordingly. Even this column will attempt to walk a tightrope stretched between whimsy and gross offense.

(Then don't mention Fun in the Mud at the Winter Carnival - Editor)

Certainly not!

The Hay Day program, which yearly attracts thousands of revelers, opens at 9 a.m. with sign-ups for the Henry Wilson Horseshoe Tournament and the Henry Wilson Memorial Dog Gymkhana, both of which get underway at 9:30 a.m., just as the booths and concession stands open up. In keeping with the circus theme, it is hoped that all the horseshoe players, and not just the customery few, will dress as Wild Men of Borneo.

Dog owners may feel tempted to deck out as circus masters and crack small whips as their pets negotiate the obstacle course (no flaming hoops, apparently) before staring down the big cat. They should bear in mind, however, that watchful eyes might include those of Strafford County Kennel Club, man's best friend's friend.

At 10 a.m. competitors for the prestigious title of Li'l Miss and Li'l Mr. Hay Day Circus will take the downtown stage and if this junior pageant doesn't spawn a score of clowns then I'll volunteer to be fired down Main Street from Ellsworth Hancock's cannon.

Not that clowns will be in short supply. No, sir! There will be more clowns than you can throw a pail of water at. At 10:30 a.m. in the bank parking lot, Zo Zo the Clown from Outer Space will be one of the stars of Holiday Magic Circus. Ringmaster James Ladini will also execute willful deeds of prestidigitation, while B.J. Locke will attempt to escape from all of this, Carol Roscoe will unleash her dog and pony show, and Jim Perry assisted by Millie will do a fine balancing act.

(More successfully than this column, I hope - Ed.)

Guess what at 11 a.m.? Yes, a clown show! All the way from Massachusetts, this one, which will impishly repeat at 1 p.m. just 30 minutes before Zo Zo and the gang re-appear for a second performance. But let us not forget the noontime race entitled Clown Around featuring a superfluity of buffoons, jokers, fools and jesters rushing purposefully down Main Street in the ghostly tracks of Long John Silvers and Gabby Hayeses.

Big Dan the Strong Man will take on all-comers in the 1:30 Henry Wilson Sheaf Toss, at 2 p.m. local Scouts enter the Henry Wilson Cubmobile Race, and at 2:30 a small child will be publicly fined $1,000 for rollerskating on a sidewalk. Then at 3 p.m., in Farmington's version of the Running of the Bulls, the first of a dozen beds will careen wildly from the Town Hall, on a loop course, to hurtle over the finish line on the Square.

At 4:30 winners from throughout the day will be presented with awards, and the 1990 Ugly Person will also be announced. This year's four finalists are Peggy Goslin of Peg's Keg, Ronnie Dumont of Dumontski's, Freddie Adams of the Smokey Lantern and Elaine Lemieux of the Rusty Rudder. All were photographed in clown costumes a few weeks ago, and their pictures were pasted onto large bottles into which coins are currently being dropped as a substitute for ballot papers. It'll be a close race, this one, but my money's on Ron, keeper of the famous Kennedy Painting.

At 5 p.m. the booths and concession stands close down, and yet the fat clown singeth not, for at 6:30 p.m. those musical maestros the Footsteps give a concert, provoking an outbreak of public dancing lasting until 9 p.m., when Hay Day climaxes with the spectacular Henry Wilson FIreworks Display.

Foodwise, the day will begin with a blueberry pancake, egg, bacon, coffee, tea and juice breakfast, (adults $4, kids $2) put on by Fraternal Lodge No. 71 of Farmington Masons in their Main Street hall. Servings will start at 6 a.m. and go on until 11 a.m. By then the slack will have been taken up by the Fire Department slinging hot dogs, muster burgers and french fries, the American Legion dishing out patriotic chop suey and meatball dubs, Dumontskis with its renowned Henry Wilson Fried Dough, and a host of other purveyors pushing Chinese egg rolls, candy apples, pizzas, sausages, slush puppies, tacos, pop corn ...

(We got the picture - Ed.)

... and cotton candy.

According to local workhorse Berry Mros (whose husband Eddy now has almost 2,000 golf balls stored in egg cartons) a fine display of crafts is promised, with basket weavers, herbalists, pillow stitchers, painters, baseball card salesmen, ceramic potters, bibliophiles and T-shirt marketeers all signed up. Perhaps some scarce and valuable Wilson Out Of Obscurity Forthwith (WOOOF) buttons may even tiptoe onto a reputable stand in the proximity of the Goodwin Library.

(Are you still trying to hawk those things? - Ed.)

Full details of Hay Day may be obtained by calling Parks & Rec. supremo Linda "Zeke" Ghareeb at 755-2405 or Friends of Recreation committee member Judy Brownell at 859-3700. Full details of U.S. Vice President Henry Wilson can be had by reading back issues of Farmington Corner, or by quaffing a leisurely Bud with his reincarnation, Mr. Royce Hodgdon, at a nearby stoves and freezers repair garden.

August 18, 1990

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