CHESTER | This may be the last year for the Chester Town Fair unless more volunteers help plan the annual event.

The fair is set for Sept. 8 at the town recreational fields off Route 102 near the ballfields. The event begins with a parade at noon followed by a day of community organization displays, food, children's activities, games and music.

Longtime fair committee members Vaughn McGillen and Melissa Rossetti announced this is the last year they will volunteer to organize the fair and hope people come forward to help plan the day and continue the community spirit in the years ahead.

The fair has been Chester's main event for more than a decade and for the past seven years, the day's schedule has expanded to include more local entertainment, mostly on a time-donated basis.

Other activities include the pie bake-off and auction, raising money to be donated to the Chester Community Food Pantry. Services donated by community groups and organizations help offset the fair's costs.

"The Town Fair has been well-organized and paid for itself without any subsidy from the town of Chester," said former fair organizer and Chester Historical Society President Hilary Hall.

One major part of the fair, Hall added, is the traditional fireworks display, planned and presented by resident and pyrotechnic expert Dan Dwyer.

With the sudden death of Dwyer, 69, last week, Hall said this year's fair will be dedicated to the man who produced such exciting and creative fireworks shows. His creativity and enthusiasm will be missed, she added.

Hall said the tradition of having fireworks has been maintained by the approval of the town's taxpayers, who vote each year to include the display in the annual budget. After the fireworks end, people leaving the field usually offer donations to help offset the costs.

The parade lines up at 11 a.m. next to the town offices at 84 Chester St., and the route winds down Chester Street and ends at the fair location. In addition to parade participants, the fair committee seeks vendors, crafters, animals, and farmers market displays.

Applications are available at the Chester Public Library, the police station and the post office. For information about the fair or to volunteer, contact Rossetti or McGillen at chestertownfair@hotmail.com.





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