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Rural traditions alive at Sandwich Fair
Monday, October 12, 2009

HARRISON HAAS/CITIZEN PHOTO RICK SHARP from Belmont guides his horses Doc and Jim during the horse- pulling competition on Sunday morning at the Sandwich Fair.



The Sandwich Fair used to be a one day affair, when it began almost a 100 years ago as an annual market day where farmers traded and sold cattle. Originally, the fair was held every year on Columbus Day, whether it was on a Monday or Wednesday. It wasn't until 1971 that Columbus Day was fixed to the second Monday in October. The Sandwich Fair took place on the second Monday of each up until 1988 when it was extended throughout the entire Columbus Day Weekend.

Helping to keep a strong country tradition alive this weekend was Rick "Slim" Sharp from Belmont, who was there with his two horses Doc and Jim. Sharp arrived at the fair on Sunday morning to get ready for the horse pulling completion later in the afternoon. He horses just made the cut for the 3,100 pound and under weight class, with 13 year old Doc weighing 1,500 pounds and Jim only seven years old and weighing 1,600.

"It's good friendly competition," said Sharp. "I just want to keep supporting our sport and keep it alive."

Sharp has been coming to the Sandwich Fair almost every year since he was a child. When he was younger, he would help his father out during the horse pulling completion, a tradition that was passed on to Sharp since he was there alone on Sunday.

"My dad had always done it so I was basically born into it," Sharp said.

This was the second year that Sharp has been competing on his own. Sharp and his father shoe horses in Belmont, which is what got them involved in competing in the horse pulling completion at the fair.

"I love this fair, it's a great place," said Sharp. "There has been a very good turnout and a great day."

Sharp said it is good friends and family keeps him coming back to the fair each year.

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