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Yankee Doodle Fair storms back for a dandy weekend

Published 7:29 am, Saturday, June 15, 2013

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  • Hundreds turned out Friday evening for the first night of the Yankee Doodle Fair at the Westport Woman's Club. Photo: Jarret Liotta / Westport News
    Hundreds turned out Friday evening for the first night of the Yankee Doodle Fair at the Westport Woman's Club. Photo: Jarret Liotta

 

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Torrential rain Thursday may have washed out the first night of the Yankee Doodle Fair, but the good times came roaring back as skies cleared Friday evening for the first of three days of fun.

Hundreds of people turned out under a cerulean blue sky to gorge on cotton candy, thrill to amusement rides, play games of skill and chance, and check out the vendors as they relished a longtime Westport tradition on the grounds of the Westport Woman's Club.

"It's great," said Deborah Johnson-Ball, a grandmother who's been attending the fair since she was a child. "It's Westport. We do this every year. I've been coming here since I was 6."

The sounds of a pipe organ pumping out carnival tunes blended with the shrieks of those brave enough to take a spin on the Scrambler or dropped from the Rip Cord. The sparkling carny lights glowed brighter as evening skies darkened.

"I've been coming since high school," said Larry Perlstein of Westport, who has brought 5-year-old daughter, Avery, to the fair for the past three years.

"Avery's very excited about it," he said. "She looks forward to it all year long."

"I love coming and finding people we know," said Kate Stephan, 10, of Westport, who was among hundreds of kids dashing from one attraction to another.

"It's going very well," said Marylee Clayton, the president of the Westport Woman's Club, which has sponsored the Yankee Doodle since 1940. "We're very pleased with tonight. We're selling a lot of tickets and a lot of cookies, and we're really looking forward to the next two days. It's supposed to be really beautiful."

She said the club hopes to take in between $40,000 and $50,000, which is largely devoted to the club's community programs that benefit those in need.

"It's fun," Anna Danchak of Westport said of the fair. "It's such a tradition for us. End of the school year, beginning of the summer ... We always come."

The Yankee Doodle Fair continues Saturday, from 1 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m., on the grounds of the Westport Woman's Club, 44 Imperial Ave.