About 15 years ago we decided that it would be fun to try to visit each of Maine's agricultural fairs over the years.
This goal has evolved into sort of a family hobby, one that is chock full of happy memories, sunny afternoons,
star lit nights and cow pies. The hobby is going strong as we passed the halfway point in 1997. It has also dovetailed well with our other outdoor passion, camping!. This page is intended to share a bit of this hobby with the world and to provide links
to the fairs for which I've found pages. ENJOY ! |
The numbers in ( ) are years we attended. Each fair has a charm of it's own, the trick is to take time to find it. So when you go relax, stop, and take things in and enjoy yourself. If you have any recomendations about the fairs we've yet to visit, or any others around New England please be sure to E-mail us. Oh, and one more thing...watch your step!
Every fair has a tone and feel of its own. There aren't any that I wouldn't like to visit again. There is however one that is a particular favorite. It's not the biggest or the fanciest. They don't have the biggest schedule of shows, though they hit the ball out of the park in 1997 with the Forester Sisters. It's not even the closest to home, though its only the second farthest.
Somehow for me it's that one special place and time each year when I know the world will and should go on. Maybe it's a blend of apple pie and the familiar. Perhaps it's because we can count on meeting family and friends there. That's all part of it's charm but this one has that something special for me. Maybe they came close to hitting the nail on the head when they began calling it "The Friendliest of Fairs".
The jewel of the day was in the evening grandstand show, held on a makeshift stage under the cover of the open air pulling arena. The entertainment was by "King's Row" an oldies band up from Rhode Island. The passing storm had cooled the evening air and the sounds of golden oldies filled the arena and the surrounding area. The crowd was a light one perhaps it was it was a departure from the traditional country entertainment, it may have been the threat of rain or even folks waiting to see Sundays featured attraction.... Championship Wrestling. We arrived halfway through the first set, expecting to hear a country band and were pleasantly surprised. The place was brought alive by a senior couple who took to the dirt pulling ring and began dancing up a storm, they left the ring to the sound of applause.
All too soon the set was over and as the band took a break the crowd thinned. After about 20 minutes the band took the stage for an audience that was scant to say the least. It wasn't long before the fairgoers began wandering in and the crowd built. Once again after a song or two that older couple took to the "dance floor" and before long we were out there dancing along with the majority of the folks in the place. The dancers remained through the slow songs and the up tempo ones, classic nuggets from the 50's and 60's. It was a scene worthy of a Kevin Kostner Movie as the crowd danced, youngsters hearing music from before their time and grand parents hearing the sounds their children grew up to along with every other generation in between. The warm yet lively acoustics of the tin roof arena and classic timber framed grandstand gave the show a tone I always enjoy.
All too soon they were wrapping the show up with Paul Anka's "Goodnight My Love" It was a slow number that let us savor the evening. They surprised us by following up with a rousing rendition of the Marcels tune "Blue Moon". The song ended, the stage went dim and moments latter as we crossed the fairgrounds with a song in our hearts. The lights went out on the Ferris wheel, signaling the end of another day at the fair. As we made our way to our vehicles parked nearly alone in the grassy parking area I felt good.... real good.
Was this unusual, not really. Was it unique, absolutely. There is hardly ever a fair that dosen't have it's magic moments, it's special memories of sights, sounds, smells, of things learned or enjoyed. When you visit a fair relax, take your time and stop to look and listen there are stories to hear shows to see. It's a place to get back to your roots just a bit, to make contact with a day gone by. Maybe walking through a barn full of cows isn't your idea of fun, but if a newborn calf happens to stand for the first time while you're there...... well, that's special. While at the fair I heard one woman comment "I've been here for 2 hours and I've seen everything", she had barely scratched the surface. After 8 hours we left not having seen some areas at all, but it was a wonderful day.
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Created in the 1990's **** Updated June 2015