Essex Junction, VT – With over 1,000 tickets sold by 11:30 a.m., Sunday at the Champlain Valley Fair is breaking records. 

The Fair is celebrating the 100th year of Strates Show Incorportated, a family operated traveling midway company, with free rides for the first 100 minutes.

Beyond the excitement for the staple fair rides, livestock exhibits are showcasing animals raised by local farmers, while agricultural displays are highlighting the importance of farming and sustainability.

“A lot of these children have no contact with farm animals. They might have a dog or cat, but as far as farm animals go, this is a chance to see and touch and learn about farm animals,” said Barbara Amblo.

Amblo and her husband Jim’s “Tarry Ho Miniature Horse Exhibition” has been at the Fair’s Old McDonald’s Farm for over 50 years.

Throughout the day, visitors can see the friendly giants pull a mini-Budweiser hitch wagon called “Bud Light.”

Other exhibitions include baby chicks hatching, ducks swimming, alpacas chewing.

When asked which farm animals fairgoers were excited to learn about, Carson Vanhorn from Huntington, Vermont, said “probably the alpacas.”

Visitors ages four to ten can win cool treats by learning about animals and redeeming their “Meet the Animal” card.

The entertainment lineup is another major draw, featuring live music from The Fern Family Band and The Night of Fire and Destruction Show with fire stunts and monster crushing.

Madison Vanhorn emphasizes that the entertainment the Champlain Valley Fair presents is guaranteed to keep you on your toes. 

“It’s just like super fun overall, something to do on weekends and stuff,” said Madison Vanhorn.

Although, Mia Johnson reminds Vermonters, while the rides and entertainment is fun, it is clear the fair continues to capture the essence of community.

“I think it’s good for everyone to connect and see other people that live here, and it can help pay towards paving roads and stuff like that,” said Johnson.

More information about fair events can be found on