The weather promises to be dandy this weekend, and the Yankee Doodle Fair -- the traditional start to Westport's summer season -- should be a great place to take advantage of the predicted sunny skies.

Sponsored by the Westport Woman's Club, the annual event got off to a damp start Thursday evening, but nice weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday should bring out the crowds.

It features amusement rides, games, food and a raffle on the clubhouse grounds, 44 Imperial Ave. Hours are Saturday from 1-10 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

"We come every year," said Carrie Howard of Westport. "We wouldn't miss it, rain or shine, as you can tell."

Fortunately, Thursday's rain held to a minimum, and the fun spun ahead.

"It's wonderful," said Audrey Rabinowitz, the co-chairwoman of the fair, which nearly 250 club volunteers organized. "All the money that we raise helps to support grants that we give to community service organizations." Money also goes toward Staples High School tuition grants, as well as the town's Food Closet.

"It's just a wonderful atmosphere for people," Rabinowitz said. "My children came here and now my grandchildren are coming here."

The Yankee Doodle Fair "was actually started in 1940," said Marylee Clayton, Women's Club president, noting that it skipped a couple of years around the time of World War II.

"I think it's great for the young kids," said Jen Dolnier of Westport. "It gets them together and they love the rides."

"It's a good town event," she said.

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