Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (2024)

Some folks will tell you that summer in Maine is all about days at the beach, boat rides on the lake and toasting marshmallows by the campfire.

That’s somewhat true. Just don’t forget the dancing pigs, the flying skillets, the cow chip bingo, whoopie pie contests, demolition derbies and oxen pulls. They are also crucial to a Maine summer.

Maine’s agricultural fair season is underway, with a wildly varying list of attractions and entertainment. There are more than a dozen Maine fairs around the state between now and Labor Day, with another eight or so in September and October.

Most of the summer fairs have a little bit of everything people love about fairs – animals, food, rides, contests. Some focus a little more on action, including horse racing or demolition derbies, while others have more music. Others proudly advertise pig scrambles and oxen pulls.

So no matter what kind of fair fun you’re looking for, you can find it. Here are some suggestions for Maine summer fairs, whatever kind of fairgoer you might be.

Related

Find more Maine fairs and festivals here

ANIMAL FARM

Advertisem*nt

The Ossipee Valley Fair in Hiram, Thursday through Sunday, is one of those fairs that celebrates small-town life and farming, with a few other fun things thrown in. It’s also in a beautiful, rural setting near the New Hampshire border. The fair runs Thursday through Sunday and features a parade, a carnival midway, a dunk tank and live music. There are lots of agricultural and animal shows, pig calling demos and pig scrambles, horse pulling and oxen pulling. The highlight might be the Farmer Olympics, where people show off their barnyard prowess by competing in the hay bale toss, the blind wheelbarrow obstacle course and the water trough relay, among other things. ossipeevalleyfair.com

Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (1)

A couple peruse the events schedule at the Ossipee Valley Fair in Hiram in 2021. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

The Waterford World’s Fair may sound big, but it’s athrowback to the days when every small town would have some big doings. Waterford, nestled between the Lakes Region and the state’s western mountains, will hold its fair July 19-21. There will be whoopie pie, apple pie and molasses cookie baking contests, a saddle horse show, steer and oxen pulling competitions, and cow chip bingo. The latter is where you bet on where a cow is going to poop. There’s a daily event called Meet Your Farmers, where farmers give lessons on different things – raising pigs, for example – and answer questions. There’s also a farmers market on the last day. waterfordworldsfair.org

STATE OF THE UNION

By definition, you’d think each state would have one state fair. But Mainers don’t like to be told what to do, so maybe that’s why there are actually two state fairs here.

The first on the calendar is the Bangor State Fair, which runs July 25-28 and Aug. 1-3. It’s an action-packed fair, featuring the Paul Bunyan Classic Demolition Derby, a car show, a truck pulling competition, a tractor pull, wrestling shows, lots of rides and live music. And of course, animals. bangorstatefair.com

The Skowhegan State Fair, north of Waterville, runs Aug. 8-17. This is also an action-packed fair, with horse racing, demolition derbies, truck pulls and music. The fair this year will also host the Pork Chop Review – a troupe of performing pigs – three shows daily. These are pigs that sing, dance, jump hurdles and do lots of other unexpected things. skowheganstatefair.com

Advertisem*nt

Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (2)

Austin Hay looks to a judge Friday after getting pushed over the arena barriers during the demolition derby at the Skowhegan State Fair last year. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

The closest summer fair to Greater Portland is probably the Topsham Fair, just a half hour’s drive up I-295, running Aug. 6-11. This year’s schedule is not out yet, but the fair usually features horse riding and horse shows, steer and ox pulling competitions, baking contests, milking demonstrations, sheep shows, and a midway with rides and games. topshamfair.net

For folks in York County, one of the closest summer fairs is the Acton Fair, a little northwest of Sanford near the New Hampshire border. It’s scheduled Aug. 22-25. The schedule includes a car show, horse show, a skillet-throwing contest for women, baking contests, a midway and entertainment. There’s also the Miss Acton Fair Pageant on Aug. 23, including talent and evening wear competitions. actonfair.net

Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (3)

The midway at the Topsham Fair in 2022. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING

If you’re looking for some engines revving, you might consider the Windsor Fair, in central Maine, Aug. 24 to Sept. 2. There’s a freestyle motocross show, with motor bikes flying high in the air, a demolition derby and the Maine State Truck and Tractor Pull competition. There are also music and magic acts, horse racing, a giant pumpkin contest and a Woodsman Day. During the latter, you can see people sawing and chopping in a competitive setting. windsorfair.com

LOCATION, LOCATION

Close out the summer with a fair in a spectacular coastal location – the Blue Hill Fair, Aug. 29 through Sept. 2. Blue Hill is a small town on a scenic peninsula southeast of Ellsworth. The full schedule is not out yet, but last year’s fair include sheep dog trials, rock concerts, a llama exhibit, carnival rides and games, a lumberjack show, and a skillet toss. bluehillfair.com

If you’re looking to go farther afield in your fair adventures – maybe north to Aroostook County or east to Washington County – check out the list of all Maine fairs scheduled this year at mainefairs.net.

Modify your screen name

Join the Conversation

Please sign into your Press Herald account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.

Send questions/comments to the editors.

« Previous

12 hidden gems of this year’s Maine International Film Festival

Next »

Kennebunks garden tour, Moxie Festival, East Bayside block party

Related Stories

Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (4)

Latest Articles

Go a little farther afield and find a Maine summer fair for you (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Roderick King

Last Updated:

Views: 6364

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Roderick King

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: 3782 Madge Knoll, East Dudley, MA 63913

Phone: +2521695290067

Job: Customer Sales Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Embroidery, Parkour, Kitesurfing, Rock climbing, Sand art, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Roderick King, I am a cute, splendid, excited, perfect, gentle, funny, vivacious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.