The Cambridge Fall Fair is a staple of the city’s identity and will seek to honor one of its former organizers following his death following last year’s event.
The Cambridge Autumn Fair is set to return to full capacity from September 8-11, but this year holds a special place for long-time attendees of the event.
The Cambridge Fair has been around for over 180 years and has been a staple in celebrating the city’s identity. This year it will be dedicated to long-time fair committee member Dave Hibbs, who passed away a few weeks after last year’s fair.
“Firsts without him are the hardest; first birthday, first Christmas and now first fair,” said Chris Chapelle, chairman of the committee and Hibbs’ brother-in-law. “We have someone upstairs watching over us this year.”
Chapelle wanted to be sure they were honoring his late brother-in-law and showing their appreciation for all the work he had done over the past 30 years.
Hibbs was instrumental in booking all of the musical acts at the fair. He built a great relationship with the talent and knew all the bands around, Chapelle said.
“We use a lot of the bands we’ve had in the past who knew Dave, he played in a couple of those bands as well,” he said. “This year, it’s about paying homage to him.”
Hibbs’ former bands Pauly & The Goodfellas and Sons of Song will dedicate all of their Sunday sets to their late bandmate.
After bringing the idea of honoring Hibbs to this year’s fair, the committee quickly ratified the celebration and will also seek to honor him at future events.
“He was just such a big presence, larger than life. How could we not show ourselves for him? Chapelle asked.
The fair has decided to stick with last year’s ticket sales model; $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under.
Chapelle wants as many people as possible to come out and celebrate, so he wants to remove as much financial burden as possible.
“Money is tight right now for a lot of people,” Chapelle said. “We will try to make it easier for locals to get out and bring the whole family for a weekend of fun.”
The four-day event begins Thursday, September 8 through Sunday, September 11. As every year, there is no admission for the Thursday and Sunday events.
Friday will see amusement park rides as well as a demolition derby and monster truck rides which will continue through Sunday.
Saturday’s main event will feature live music from Seven Sundays, Brave & Crazy, Flash Johnson and ABBA Legacy, as well as a circus lumberjack on the children’s stage.
Sunday will be all about paying tribute to Hibbs as his former bands perform live in honor of their former bandmate. A baby contest will highlight the inner events of the day.
Chapelle is looking forward to full throttle after being limited to just 1,000 guests at last year’s event. Queues lasted four hours to get in because there were so many people eager to get back to the fair, he said.
“We’re hoping for an amazing turnout this year and I really hope everyone who knows Dave and everything he’s put into it will show up and show their support.”