ANDOVER, Vt. – The 4th Annual Andover Day Fair kicked off under a mix of late-morning sun and boisterous clouds on Saturday, Sept. 9. The event combined merchants, music and exhibits with a fundraiser for the Andover Scholarship Fund.
In the far corner of the field at the Andover Town Hall Grounds, Orvis fly-fishing instructor Kyle Leard gave free, hands-on casting lessons to fairgoers.
“The most important thing is a good back cast,” Leard explained, demonstrating the multi-step technique required for the full cast. “You have to pause after the back cast before the front cast or else – hear that? Yeah, you’ll get a loud zipping noise and the line will smack the water surface too hard.” Fishing lines whirred as, beyond, the Specker Family Fiddle Duo, John Specker and daughter Ida Mae Specker, played “toe-tapping” old-time tunes in the music tent.
Toward the center of the grounds, artisans sold quilts, watercolor paintings, produce, cannoli, and other locally produced goods. At the tent for Sweet Fi’s, an Andover bakery, proprietor Fiona Morton boxed up an apple-crumble pie for an eager customer. Originally from Staffordshire, England, Morton has been baking in Andover for eight years. Asked why she chose Andover, she responded, “Because this!” gesturing out toward the idyllic early-fall landscape. Nearby, attendees voted for their favorite tomato at the Abundance Acres tent, choosing between the farm’s five contenders available for sampling.
Andover natives and long-time pals Vivian Pajala and Alice Lindquist volunteered, selling t-shirts, tote bags, and raffle tickets from two adjoining tents. “We’ve known each other since first grade…no, even before that,” Pajala said of Lindquist. Across from their tent, volunteers served up late-summer staples like corn on the cob and watermelon, along with pulled-pork sandwiches and sausages.
Proceeds for food sales, as well as the raffle tickets and Andover-themed gear sold in Pajala and Lindquist’s tent, will go to the town’s scholarship fund. The fund, which provides cash scholarships to college-bound Andover students and, more recently, Amazon Kindle e-readers to graduates joining the military, has been active since the 1990s.