Thomas Bond, director of the Maine Christmas Tree Association, sits at the Fryeburg Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

Andrew Sklar and Anna Bosnick of New York City entertain fair-goers at the Fryeburg Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

Hermione Keeling, 3, waits with some impatience to get on a ride in Kiddieland at the Fryeburg Fair on Wednesday afternoon.

Hermione Keeling, 3, waves to her grandfather, Zach Smith, as she enjoys a ride in Kiddieland on Wednesday. Zach has brought his granddaughter to the fair every year since she was born, making this her fourth fair.

PJ Clair pays close attention to his bull’s legs as he bones the legs, a process of fluffing up the hair on the bull’s legs with spray adhesive and a specialized comb, as his uncle, Raymond Gushee, works on fitting the other end of the animal. Clair has been at every Fryeburg Fair, the first being three days after he was born.

Cara Merrill, 14, of Buckfield, leads her bull, Blue, into the showing ring on Wednesday afternoon at the Fryeburg Fair.

FRYEBURG — People came out in droves Wednesday for the fourth day of the Fryeburg Fair, and were treated to clear blue skies and temperatures hovering around 80 degrees throughout the afternoon.

Some of the people were visiting the fair for the first time in years, including John and Linda Parker of Clinton, Massachusetts, who said they hadn’t visited Fryeburg in more than six years and missed the variety it had to offer.

Others, such as Diane Gushee, 57, and her 13-year-old nephew, PJ Clair, have failed to miss a year of the Fryeburg Fair.

Gushee, 57, who has lived in Fryeburg most of her life, said she has attended the fair since she was an infant, back when her mother and father showed cattle for Buzzell Farm.

“My dad’s been in the cattle industry for about 60 years, and we’ve all lived in Fryeburg for all of our lives, except for when we went to school,” Gushee said. “This fair has been a huge part of my life.”

Gushee said Clair also has never missed a year of the Fryeburg Fair.

“He was born on a Wednesday, and that following Saturday, his mother took him to the Fryeburg Fair,” Gushee said with a laugh.

Gushee said the Fryeburg Fair is the “last fair of the year for many people, the last big hurrah.”

“People used to start in July and go to the Bangor Fair, then the Presque Isle Fair, and the fairs in Windsor and Oxford, until ending in Fryeburg,” Gushee said. “It has been a really important fair for me. The fair has let me work with the kids and teach sheep and swine clinics. I like working with the kids.”

Cara Merrill, 14, a freshman at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, said she has been helping at her family’s farm in Buckfield since she was very young but started showing cattle just two years ago.

Rebecca Jack, Merrill’s aunt, said Merrill has never missed a year of the Fryeburg Fair, and that Merrill is one of five generations to raise and show cattle.

“My cousins all have market steers, and they’ve always gone to open shows,” Merrill said. “I’ve just gotten into 4-H recently.”

She said being a member of the 4-H club allows her to “learn a lot” about animals.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Merrill said. “I like being with the family, learning about animals and connecting with them. It’s something I like to do.”

While Merrill oversees one steer and two bulls, she said her family has more than 30 at home.

Other families, including Zoe and Tiberius Keeling of Portland, are still in the early stages of introducing their children to the Fryeburg Fair.

Zoe said she and her husband have brought their 3-year-old daughter, Hermione, to the fair every year since she’s been born.

Zach Smith, Zoe Keeling’s father, said he has been to the fair off and on for the past 20 years, and that this year is the first year Hermione could go on the rides.

“The first year that she came here, she liked the animals more, but I think now, she’s going to like the rides more,” Smith said with a laugh.

Then, there’s Thomas Bond.

Bond, an Army veteran and retired contractor who now grows Christmas trees with his wife in West Newfield, a small town near the Maine-New Hampshire border, said that in the 83 years he’s been alive, he has attended almost every Fryeburg Fair.

“It was a lot smaller when I went,” Bond said, sitting in a chair near the pulling ring he used to visit when he was 9 years old. “There was a lot more parking here than there is now. There was still horse pulling and animal showing like there is now.”

He said while he has rarely missed the fair, there was a two-year stretch when he was unable to attend: from 1956 to 1958, when he served with the Army’s 10th Division in Germany during World War II.

“I served as two years active reserve, and two years standby,” Bond said.

Bond said he still enjoys going to the Fryeburg Fair, even 74 years after the first time he attended, because “it’s the biggest fair around.”

“People come here, bring their campers, and they stay here for the week,” Bond said. “I like it.”

Another thing he still likes: the horse pulling.

“I don’t know why,” he said. “We all grew up with horses and worked with horses. I still like watching the horse pulling.”

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