World’s Fair starts next week in Waterford

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WATERFORD – The World’s Fair opens its gates July 20 for a three-day run.

Volunteers have been working to restore the 157-year-old agricultural fair that began as Tom Greene’s fair and became the World’s Fair at the turn of the century.

“Our goal is to make the Waterford World’s Fair a truly community event and bring it back to the fair it was 50 years ago,” said President Joel McDougal, who heads up a team of officers that includes Vice President Jerry Gilpatrick, Secretary Lucille Millett and Treasurer Darlene McDougal. There is a nine-member board of directors and nearly 20 department heads that have been organizing the event.

Local groups participating this year are the Waterford PTO, Waterford Snowpackers, Waterford Fire and Auxiliary, North Waterford Grange, Waterford WREC, Waterford Historical Society, Waterford Ski For Sheree program and the Waterford Fall Foliage Road Race that benefits the Tony Waldeier Scholarship.

Additionally, the Phil’s Mobil-sponsored “Soak the Dope” will be operating with several local celebrities sitting in the wet seat. Already signed up are Board of Selectmen Chairman John Bell and former Selectman Whizzer Wheeler.

Admission is $4 per person. Children 5 and under are free. For further information, contact Joel McDougal at 583-4692, Dottie Bell at 583-4146 or leave a message at the fair, 583-4993.

There will be plenty of agricultural activity over the three days. Events are scheduled for steer and oxen, draft horses and saddle horses. 4-H members will demonstrate their livestock projects and the Western Maine Rabbit Breeders will having ongoing demonstrations. At the petting zoo, children will be able to mingle with an assortment of farm critters. Three pig scrambles, including two on Sunday, will feature the names of their sponsors. If you would like to sponsor a pig, contact Bell at 583-4146 or McDougal at 583-4692.

On Friday, Waterford’s senior citizens will be honored in the dance hall. The University of Maine Extension will give a cut flower presentation. A free seniors-only luncheon is scheduled for noon. At 1 p.m., the Richard Felt Band will provide old-time music for a dance.

Friday evening offers the women’s skillet throw, men’s couch potato race and the He-Man contest. To help parents take part in these events, there will be a supervised kids activity area set up under a tent from 5 to 7 p.m. Family entertainment begins at 8 p.m. in the dance hall.

Saturday morning’s schedule features activities for children, including a large display of John Martin’s kites. Martin will also offer kids the opportunity to make their own. Jenn Felt will bring Lewis and Clark’s expedition to life with several artifacts. The Waterford knitting group will offer a knitting demo, and Ernie Garzia will teach youngsters how to rope cattle.

Kids will be able to learn about farm animals and their products through a coloring activity. They can add their special touch to a farm scene mural with stencils and crayons. There will be several other crafts to make a scavenger hunt, a laughing contest, a three-legged race and bubble gum blowing contest.

The thunder of draft horse hooves will begin at 9 a.m. and a horseshoe tournament at 10 a.m. Oxford Majorettes will be twirling batons at 1 p.m. At the same time, a baby show is scheduled for the dance hall. A pig scramble (sign up at 11:30) for ages 7 and 8 will be held at 2 p.m. There are also apple and blueberry pie contests. Dancing (no alcohol, please) to the Belairs begins at 8 p.m.

Dozens of vendors are lined up for the fair. Food will be available at Vi’s Cook Shack and the Waterford Firemen’s Kitchen.

Sunday’s horse Gymkhana begins at 8 a.m., a Bernese mountain dog cart demonstration at 10 a.m. and llama’s navigating an obstacle course at 11:30 a.m. Sunday will also see two pig scrambles, a baby show, baking powder biscuits contest and a watermelon crawl.

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