In Connecticut: A Fair Goes Dark

Smack in the center of the red-and-white-striped big top, Arlene Yaple, 63, surveys her domain: prize pumpkins, homemade brownies, dried cornstalks, okra and an American flag crafted of apples and grapes. Square dancers do-si-do to the bidding of a caller on a stage near by, while curious passers-by gape at a 325-lb. squash lying near Yaple's feet. Above the huge oval ring where the plump, gray-haired woman is sitting hangs a carefully lettered wooden sign that reads, "Arlene Yaple: for 35 years superintendent of Granges and Big Top displays. Danbury Fair thanks you...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!