Spectra Networks Proudly Serving the Topsfield Fair 

Many people love autumn for its changing colors of the leaves from deep greens to vivid explosions of gold, red, and orange. Others enjoy the changing temperatures and lowering humidity levels that lend themselves to fall clothing and cozy fireplace snuggles at night. For us at Spectra Networks, fall means one thing - the annual Topsfield Fair. 

What Is the Topsfield Fair?

Known as America's Oldest County Fair, the Topsfield Fair has been in existence since 1818 when it was started by the Essex County Agricultural Society as a one-day cattle fair. The goal of the fair then, as it is now, is to showcase agriculture in order to educate the public as well as provide somewhere for farmers to exchange ideas and methods.  Over two hundred years later and the fair is wildly popular with families traveling to the event year after year. The fair draws between 450,000 and 500,000 people over its now, 10-day event period. Located on Route 1 in Topsfield, Massachusetts, the Fair is home to a large midway, an arena with ongoing events throughout the year, as well as many agricultural exhibitions. The name Topsfield Fair is synonymous with a traditional county fair filled with delicious fall foods like pumpkin and apple pies, apple crisps, German fries, and caramel apples. Events include musical venues, acrobatics, animal exhibits, oxen pulling, horse shows, and the favorite - the demolition derby. 

Topsfield Fair

How Is Spectra Networks Involved In the Topsfield Fair? 

You may be thinking that this is not the usual blog content for a Managed IT company and you would be right.  What you see at the Topsfield Fair doesn’t happen without months and months of planning in advance. The role we play at the Fair is not something that can be seen in the arena or on one of the many stages, but rather behind the scenes and in ways that make the yearly event run smoothly.  Spectra Networks generally works with small and medium-sized businesses offering services such as Managed IT, cyber security, Amazon Web Services, and IT consultation all while focused on tailor-made solutions. The Fair, while one of our larger clients, is a labor of love that allows us to be a part of the magic that happens every year around this time. Our work with them is part of a multi-year plan to modernize the Topsfield Fair. The Topsfield Fairground covers a vast amount of land including approximately 150 acres. As a part of our infrastructure build-out of the area, our team evaluated the needs of the Fairgrounds in order to provide wireless capability, security cameras, and high-speed fiber optics across that property. We also installed high-speed 20G redundant fiber links from the MDF to ten separate locations through the property using aerial, underground, and internal pathways. Additionally, we designed, installed, and configured the switch and wireless architecture to provide internet access for users, ticketing, guests, vendors, and credit card processing. Without this capability, visitors and vendors would be unable to access payment methods and other things like ticket scanning and credit card processing capabilities.  Also as a part of our services, we built out and configured over eleven Independent Distribution Frame (IDF) locations and the Main Distribution Frame (MDF). This included configuring security controls to segregate sensitive, management, internal, and guest traffic using VLANs with traffic shaping rules and redundant WAN uplinks. By the end of our three-year rollout goal, we plan to provide reliable wifi to private event attendees and fair vendors. In addition, credit cards will be accepted at all parking lots and Fair run booths throughout the fairgrounds. These projects will reduce wait times and meet attendee demands for modern payment methods, including credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.   Come visit the Topsfield Fair and think of us as you enjoy your little slice of autumn in New England.