Rochester Grange Fair showcases agricultural and craft talents

Aug 20, 2023

ROCHESTER — Mango and Tango, the Kunekune pigs munched on the grass outside the Rochester Grange Hall during the 112th Annual Grange Fair on Saturday, Aug 20. 

Tails N’ Trails 4-H Club members Elowyn and Katriel Mccarthy said that despite the pigs’ bickering over the best patch of grass, the pair make for great companions. 

“They are really friendly,” said Eleven-year-old caretaker Elowyn who described how Mango was once trained to sit for apple slices. 

“Tango is really lazy, he needs to go on a diet,” said Katriel with a laugh. 

Grange Fairs across Massachusetts have welcomed the participation of local 4-H Clubs in previous years according to Rochester Grange secretary Susan LaFleur. 

In a celebration of agriculture, participants enter their locally-grown produce, baked goods and crafts for a chance to rank in their respective class.

“It gives people a chance to show off what they can do which isn’t always available to people,” said  Rochester Historical Commission member Connie Eshbach. 

 Produce entries were “thin” this year compared to years prior according to LaFleur.

“This year the gardens took a beating,” she said. “The weather wasn’t great [this year] and stuff doesn’t grow.”

However, there were dozens of entries for canned goods this year according to LaFleur. From jams to pickles, there was a canned good for every taste. 

Items entered for judging were auctioned off to community members after they enjoyed the annual ham and bean supper.

“It reminds everyone of the agricultural  roots of Rochester which have helped to keep it the lovely country town it is today,” said Eshbach.