BETHEL — On a sweltering Saturday afternoon, the Town Common was awash with vendors displaying and selling their wares.
The 24th annual Bethel Art Fair featured 63 booths representing more than 80 artists in many media, including oil, pastel, watercolor, pen and ink, photography, woodworking and metalsmithing.
On the other side of the Common, behind The Bethel Inn Resort, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the third annual New England Cornhole Tournament was to begin at 2 p.m.
However, the Kagan family from Easton, Mass., were the only people tossing cornhole bags at raised wooden platforms with a hole near the top toward which the bags were aimed.
Brad Jerome, the resort’s director of sales and marketing, said the tournament was postponed to Sunday, July 21, during the Mollyockett Festival due to “low interest this weekend.”
Back at the junction of Mill Hill Road, Broadway and Main Street, about 10 people waited patiently for the inn’s 3 p.m. antique car parade to begin.
A vintage Pontiac Firebird went by on Broadway and one lady, who had been waiting since 2:45 p.m., suddenly joked, “That was it!”
At 3:18 p.m., the parade was spotted in the distance, slowly making its way up Main Street behind Dianne Ward of Deepwood Farm in Albany Township. She was driving a wagon being pulled by 15-year-old “Sam I Am,” a Belgian-Newfoundland pony. Ward and Sam gave wagon rides around town all day.
Six minutes later, the small parade of vehicles from each decade since 1913, when the inn first opened, had driven off Main Street and onto Broadway for a loop around the Common. Then, the drivers parked their vehicles on the lawn of the inn for display.
Parade entrants included a 1967 red Mustang, a teal 1946 Ford street rod, a red 1978 Pinto Cruising Wagon, a green 1969 Rambler wagon and a 1913 Model T Ford.
Bethel native Richard A. Fraser of Poland shared the history of his Model T with a few men and even honked its horn at their request after Sam I Am and Ward were farther up Broadway so as not to spook the horse.
Closer to the resort front entrance, Larry Levesque of Hartford parked his 2006 vista blue Mustang GT behind a dark blue MG 1600 Mk II. A purple “Best of Show” ribbon dangled from the MG’s windshield post.
Several people, including Bethel Inn Resort owner Dick Rasor, stood around the front of the shiny Mustang, marveling at its customized engine while Levesque explained how he’d assembled it.
“This is probably the smallest car show I’ve ever been in,” Levesque said. “I think I won my class by default.”
The day was to conclude with fireworks, preceded from 6 to 8 p.m. by the Mahoosuc Arts Council’s runway-model show presentation, “100 years of The Bethel Inn’s Fashions,” at the resort’s Conference Center.
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