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STRATHAM — The Stratham Fair, the city’s more than 50-year-old tradition, has an uncertain future, but this year it will be replaced by the Stratham 4-H Summerfest.

Summerfest is jointly presented by the city’s fire, police, and parks and recreation departments. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday July 16 at Stratham Hill Park, featuring cattle, a mainstay of the fair, which is not taking place this year.

“There has always been a strong 4-H presence in the old fair (through) the agricultural program,” said Dan Crow, president of the Stratham Volunteer Fire Department Association. “We felt bad about leaving them behind by canceling the fair for economic reasons, so we thought we could just foster the 4-H part and let it grow from there.”

Previous story:Stratham Fair canceled again in 2022: Here’s why and what’s replacing it

4-H – which stands for head, heart, hands and health – is a program of the United States Department of Agriculture that provides young people with training in agriculture and other disciplines. 4-H is offered locally by Strafford County and the University of New Hampshire.

Summerfest will feature projects made by 4-H members, livestock judging, farm programs, an antique tractor show, a pie contest and other events.

What’s planned for Stratham 4-H Summerfest?

County 4-H Presents, formerly known as County Activities Day, will be part of Summerfest this year.

“It’s the backbone of Summerfest,” Crow said. “That’s why we do it, because of 4-H.”

County 4-H Presents is an annual event that gives young people ages 8-18 a chance to build their skills and confidence. Events will include demonstrations, illustrated lectures, interactive discussions and photography.

Summerfest will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Stratham Hill Park on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

According to the 4-H website, exhibits in the 4-H building will include individual and club/program exhibits on cooking, rocketry, shooting sports, gardening, sewing and textiles, boating GPS, communication skills, wind power, hiking and environmental stewardship. and service learning.

A baking competition sponsored by King Arthur Flour is also planned, where children will have the chance to show off their culinary skills while trying to bake a blueberry coffee cake.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Rockingham and Strafford Counties Youth Leadership Team will host the Youth Talent Fair, where young artists ages 10-18 can showcase their talents.

Crow said a few events have been added, including a demonstration by the New Hampshire Search and Rescue team and a dog show from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

“We feel bad because we want to support children and young people and what they learn as they grow up,” Crow said, referring to the cancellation of the Stratham Fair. “Kids want to be outside, and they want to learn about animals – anything to get them off screens (video).”

Summerfest is jointly presented by the Stratham Fire, Police and Parks and Recreation Departments and will take place from 9am to 6pm on Saturday July 16th.

Will there be food and entertainment?

Packing your own food won’t be necessary as the fire department will have its food shack open, according to Crow. For those with a sweet tooth, Hodgie’s Too will have an ice cream stand. Cash and credit cards will be accepted at the food shack and ice cream stand.

Live music will be provided by Fretbenders and magic shows by BJ Hickman throughout the day.

Softball Championship Inaugural Game

At 4 p.m. on the lower baseball field, co-sponsors, Stratham Police and Fire Department will have an inaugural softball game.

What’s online? A championship trophy and bragging rights, of course.

“Our police and fire departments work together every day in the field and on call,” Crow said. “We are proud to have this relationship with each other and why not have a little competition?”

According to Crow, the departments chose softball because of location.

“Stratham Hill Park has such a beautiful baseball field,” he said. “It’s very easy for each team to have a dugout, we have a controlled fenced little league pitch and we have stadium seating that we can set up.”

Crow also said there would be a celebrity throwing the first pitch. One way to find out who it is will be to attend the event, he said.

Parking and entrances

Admission to Stratham 4-H Summerfest is free. Donations will be accepted but not required and will be used to offset event costs.

Crow said the city’s police, fire, parks and recreation departments contributed to the event, and unlike the Stratham Fair, Summerfest was not a fundraiser.

Main parking will be on Jack Rabbit Lane at the rear of the park. Parking is free.

Although the future of Stratham Fair is uncertain, Crow said he was happy to keep the 4-H aspect of the event intact.

“Hopefully we overdeliver and don’t deliver on our promises,” he said. “I don’t want people expecting the fair, I want people expecting a community event – we do it for the kids.”

Stratham 4H Summerfest 2022 Schedule Saturday July 16 (rain date is Sunday July 17)

Doors open: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Food shacks: All day

4H animal barns: All day

4H events: All day

Petting Zoo (Legacy Lane): All Day

Girl Scout STEM Van: All Day

Fretbenders (live music): 9:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

BJ Hickman (magic show): 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Pie competition: 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

4H dog show: 1 p.m.

4H tractor driving competition: 2 p.m.

Championship softball game (Stratham Fire vs. Stratham Police): 4 p.m.