Some came for the rides, others the food, many spent their time with the animals, competed in tests of skill and endurance, or put their prize tomatoes on the line with ribbons and pride at stake.

The 161st Agricultural Fair welcomed one and all, bringing together the Island community yet again from Thursday to Sunday, in this late August tradition.

By Friday most of the judging had been completed and blue ribbons were on display in droves. Among poultry submissions in the barn, Danielle Mulcahy’s Brahma rooster named Paris stole the show. A specimen of one of the largest chicken breeds, the full-feathered beauty held a prominent spot in the barn, his cage perched on a old-fashioned wooden John Deere wagon.

“His favorite things to do are getting the hens to look at him and the beach,” read the bio on the side of his cage. “He’s just Paris. And that’s enough.”

Just next door, in the rabbit department, a litter of baby rabbits relaxed in their cage on the sawdust-strewn floor. These were the babies born to a Grey Barn rabbit named Pretzel, himself just more than a year old, all charcoal black and fluffy.

At night on the ferris wheel. — Jonathan Fleischmann

Outside the barn, some of the Island’s larger livestock lounged on display. Celebrity bovine Chilmark the ox, attracted throngs of adoring fans, as did the many rotund pigs from Joannah Douglas’ Fork to Pork operation. These gourmand swine are fed well on food scraps from across the Island and it showed.

After surveying the livestock, visitors were enticed by smells both sweet and savory to the concessions area.

“Conch fritters, BBQ ribs, jerk chicken,” cried the hawker at Chef Deon’s Caribbean-themed stand, and many fairgoers heeded his call. Just across the way, the West Tisbury fire department also attracted long lines of hungry customers with its classic cheeseburgers.

The much-decorated agrarian bounty of the Island was represented with a packed hall this year, with towering sunflowers, well-formed cucumbers and perfect, shiny eggplant. Crafts of all kinds also stunned the crowd, from a handmade hatchet to a stunning quilt based on the Oak Bluffs fireworks

Special awards were doled out to the Sense of Wonder Creative Arts Camp’s papier mache rhinoceros and to Glen Provost’s miniature, remote-controlled model of the Shenandoah.

On Saturday there were woodsmen contests, an antique tractor pull, a chopsticks knitting competition, sack races, shucking events and a tug of war.

Horse pull drew many onlookers. — Jonathan Fleischmann

The animal barn remained a prime destination, filled with everything from Icelandic horses to baby chickens.

Willow Rosbeck and Luiza DeOliveira, both 9, kept watch at the front door, advising visitors carrying lemonade, corn dogs and other delights to finish their food and drinks outside. Willow and Luiza also kept watch over two chicks, whom they had named Trouble 1 and Trouble 2.

“Trouble 1 keeps trying to jump out of the box,” Willow said.

“And Trouble 2 has already jumped out of my hands a few times,” Luiza added.

As if on cue, Trouble 2 made a run for it but Willow caught up to the chick and scooped it up with her hands.

“It’s a hard job,” Willow admitted.

Luiza agreed, but added that the fair wouldn’t be the same without it.

“It’s the best part,” she said. “It’s so fun, it has to be my favorite.”

Sunday was a dog lover’s delight, with close to 100 canines of all sizes and many breeds entered in the morning dog show. Once the winners were named, competitors and their leash-toting owners dispersed across the usually dog-free fairgrounds, with many staying through late afternoon.

Christine Koesler’s chocolate beagle Senge took first place in both the beagle and the hound divisions, and hours later calmly watched his owner take her turn at the 23rd annual women’s skillet toss. One hundred and four women signed up for the competition, which ran more than three hours but never saw a throw that matched last year’s 54-foot-plus championship fling by Chloe Dahl.

Ms. Dahl, her sister Phoebe and their mother Lucy all tossed again this year, but it was Karena Hammarlund who earned the grand champion’s purple sash with a 46-foot throw.

Division winners were Barbara Silk, 75, of West Tisbury in a crowded field of women 65 and older; Alex Pinck, 64, of Chilmark in the 56 to 64 age group; Ms. Hammarlund, 53, of West Tisbury in the 46 to 55 group; Lizzie Goldstein, 31, of Norwalk, Conn. in the 30 to 45 group; and Lila Gardner, 26, of West Tisbury in the 18 to 29 group.

Ms. Gardner also placed third in the grand championship with a throw of 42 feet, six inches and Ms. Goldstein took second place with 43 feet, six inches.

Avery Fernei, newly eligible this year at age 18, and her mother Katherine Walsh were just as happy with their matching fifth-place ribbons, while dad and husband Bruce Fernei beamed at them both.

Ax throw takes courage. — Jeanna Shepard

“I’m very proud of my wife and daughter,” Mr. Fernei said.

Other Sunday highlights included an afternoon cornhole tournament and the 4-H Club’s calf costume contest, the latter won by a Highland heifer named Emily Blunt dressed as a pink-wigged Barbie.

Other Highland calves were costumed as Princess Peach and a flower fairy, while the contest’s only belted Galloway — in a sly move by its young handler — was dressed in plaid as a Scottish highlander.

The 4-H Club’s animal parade, at barn closing time, was brought up in the rear by a sibling act of two recalcitrant sheep who dawdled so obstinately that one of them had to be picked up and carried.

“No one likes to leave the fair,” an onlooker commented.

And yet on Sunday, animals and people had to do just that, already looking down the road to next summer for the fair to return.

More pictures.