FRYEBURG — The sixth day of the 168th Fryeburg Fair on Friday featured something that was missing the first five days: sunshine.

With no rain and no clouds in sight, the fair was particularly busy Friday morning, with thousands of people on the grounds by 10 a.m. For some families, the game booths were more of a draw than the animals.

Six-year-old Nolan Works of Portland was one of many children playing the games on the east side of the fairgrounds beside Route 5.

Works said his favorite part of the fair was “definitely the games.”

As for whether he likes the animals?

“Sort of,” he said.

His grandfather, Danny Falcone, laughed and said, “He definitely loves the games.”

Ray Nevells of Ellsworth said he has worked at the fair at a variety of game booths for the past 18 years and still finds it as entertaining as it was the first year he did it.

“The more excited you get while running the games, the more excited the crowd gets, and that’s exactly what you want,” Nevells said. “Everything is worth a smile.”

Nevells, who was running a game in which people throw darts to try to hit the center of a paper star pinned on the wall, works full time at Hammond Lumber. He said he spends 10 days a year at Fryeburg Fair, including setting up booths and taking them down at the end of the week.

“I also work booths at fairs in Blue Hill and Presque Isle, but the Fryeburg Fair is my favorite one to cover,” Nevells said. “It’s just so massive and there’s always so much going on. It’s a lot of fun.”

Jennifer Tripp of Old Orchard Beach said her grandson, 6-year-old Michael Kelly, has visited the fair every year since he was born.

As Kelly ran through an obstacle course, Tripp smiled and said the rides have always been his favorite part of the fair.

“I’m not sure he’s old enough to remember the first few years he came here, but he always loves to check out the rides,” Tripp said. “Whenever he comes here, the first place he wants to go is the obstacle courses.”

Other people were focused on visiting the animals in barns on the west side of the 185-acre grounds.

The goat barn was especially busy Friday, with people filtering in and out to look at the breeds, whether dairy or Nigerian dwarf.

Charles Natitus of Connecticut, who was with his wife and two sons, was seated at the entrance to the goat barn while his son, Braydon, petted a small goat.

Natitus said he has been visiting the fair since he was young, and he and his family return every year.

“I was camping with friends in the Saco Valley area when I first heard about the fair,” Natitus said. “It seems like every time we come up here, we leave with an animal, too.”

On the other end of the goat barn, Phil Denison and Hank Dumont, neighbors in Harrison and U.S. Army veterans, were walking from pen to pen, petting the goats.

Dumont, 84, said he served in Korea from 1954 to 1956. Denison, 89, served in Germany from 1951 to 1953.

As Dumont spoke, Denison scratched the head of a goat that stood on its hind legs to reach him.

“Goats really are the friendliest animals,” he said.

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Ray Nevells, center, of Ellsworth hands a stuffed animal to Nolan Works, 6, of Portland after he won a game of darts at the Fryeburg Fair on Friday. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)

Michael Kelly, 6, of Old Orchard Beach jumps after reaching the end of an obstacle course at the Fryeburg Fair on Friday. His grandmother Jennifer Tripp holds out her arms to help him off the platform. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)

Charles Natitus of Connecticut watches Friday morning as his son, Braydon, scratches a goat at the Fryeburg Fair. Natitus said he and his family attend the fair every year. (Matthew Daigle/Sun Journal)


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