Topsfield Fair and the Flying Wallendas

Topsfield Fair and the Flying Wallendas

image On Sunday, we took in the Topsfield Fair, one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the country. I like to go every year for an afternoon or evening and soak up all the carnival and rural ambiance. From the artery-clogging food (fried dough, sausage and peppers, corn on the cob on a stick, apple pie a la mode, etc.) to the barns full of farm animals (Mmmm, steak on the hoof) to the arts and crafts hall hung with quilts to the midway (am I getting older or do the rides look more nausea inducing every year?) to the rip-off games of “skill” and chance that you waste your money on anyway to end up with a cheap Taiwanese stuffed animal that will get shoved into the back of your closet.

But the highlight of this year’s show for me was the appearance of the famous Flying Wallendas. This is the famed tightrope-walking circus family, whose patriarch, the late Karl Wallenda, has done some of the most amazing tightrope walks. I seem to remember seeing him on TV between the World Trade Center towers and walking over Niagara Falls.

Anyway, the family is still performing, and including the amazing Seven-Person Pyramid. I have pictures of the act in this gallery of photos from the fair. I didn’t get too many of them because I was too awed by the dangerous stunts (without a net!) and holding my niece and nephew. I did get a picture of my niece Kateri and my sister Evelyn both covering their mouths in awe at it. It’s one thing to watch such a thing on television when you know that there’s a five-second delay, if it’s not taped, and they can cut away if the worst happens. It’s quite another to see it right in front of you and knowing that if they were to fall, we’d see it all.

Parenthetically, I noticed on the Wallendas’ web site an article by current Wallenda patriarch Tino about his faith in Christ. Makes interesting reading.

1 comment
  • Topsfield’s really is a nice, clean one as fairs go.  We were at the Bolton Fair last week – and there was a fabulous trapeze duo demonstrating on center stage, and also a fun tapdancing troupe (that meet regularly either in Shirley or Gardner – they were urging anyone to come join).  The animal shows were excellent too.
    I agree about having to watch frightful stunts live – there’s an adrenaline rush, but I’m always relieved once it’s over.  Those Wallendas are incredible too.