Organizers say Fryeburg Fair will be held in October

Doug Blauvelt of Chesterville is seen in the goat play area at the Fryeburg Fair in October 2018. Sun Journal file photo

FRYEBURG — The 2021 Fryeburg Fair is a go, organizers announced Monday on their Facebook page after postponing last year’s fair because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Yes we’re on,” said the post on Facebook.

The 170th edition of the fair will be held from Oct. 3-10 at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. The fair, the largest in Maine and second largest agricultural fair in New England, was founded in 1851. The fairgrounds feature more than 100 buildings on 185 acres of land.

Fair officials said they will be following all COVID-19 protocols to keep fairgoers and exhibitors safe. What that might entail will be determined at a later date.

“We want the fair to be as safe as possible,” said David Andrews, the general superintendent of the fair.

Popular features such as Woodman’s Field Day, harness racing, draft horse hitch competitions, 4-H exhibits, entertainment and the midways are expected to be held, but some restrictions might be necessary, depending on the state of the pandemic.

According to Andrews, the cancellation of last year’s fair had a major financial impact on the fairgrounds.

“We’re about a $3 million business a year,” Andrews said. “Despite not having a fair, we still had a lot of overhead, like our insurance.”

In place of last year’s fair, officials held some virtual events, such as various contests, demonstration and cooking videos and vendor showcases.

The nightly entertainment shows might get scaled back. In a normal year, those major acts would already be booked, Andrews said. They did not want to book big shows, only to have to cancel them later due to the pandemic, but Andrews said there would be entertainment of some sort during the fair. In addition to the nightly grandstand shows, organizers have five stages of entertainers stationed throughout the fairgrounds.

As of now, the Oxford Fair is also scheduled to be held from Sept.15-18.

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