FARMINGTON — The status of the 180th Farmington Fair will be decided August 1.

On Saturday, May 2, the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs announced nine Maine fairs had canceled this year in response to the COVID-19 crisis. By Tuesday, four more fairs had decided to cancel.

Franklin County Agricultural Society President Randall “Randy” Hall of East Dixfield said Tuesday, May 5, the board of directors and officers met two weeks ago to discuss holding Farmington Fair this year.

“We will wait until August 1 to decide finally,” he said. “We’ve talked with the carnival. They’re available.

“As one of the later fairs, we decided we should wait, see how things go throughout the summer.”

Hall said all vendors have been contacted. They are still planning for the fair.

According to a brief history of Farmington found on Maine Memory Network, “In 1840, the Maine State Legislature “granted a charter to the Franklin County Agricultural Society” for the purpose of creating a fair for Farmington and the surrounding communities. Since that time, the Farmington Fair has been the county’s premier autumn social event. “Throughout its history [the farmington fair] has proved of great value in arousing an interest in agricultural matters, and stimulating a competition among farmers.” (History of the Farmington Fair, The First 150 Years: 1840-1990, Mildred Luce Ross & Donald Fletch)

The first “Cattle Show and Fair” was held on Oct. 19 and 20, 1840. At the time, the fairgrounds were known as the “trotting park.” This oval was created to keep horse races off of Main St.

Farmington Fair has been held every year since at the fairgrounds between Maple Ave and High St. An agricultural fair, it offers livestock exhibitions, 4-H contests, horse and oxen pulling and an exhibition hall for Grange work, crafts, food goods, etc. There is a grandstand where horse racing, a firemen’s muster, truck and tractor pulls, demolition derbies and other entertainment can be watched. Amusement rides, games, live music and the food bring thousands of people from Franklin County and beyond to the fair each September.

“Yesterday, Skowhegan Fair announced it is waiting until three weeks before the start of the fair to make a decision,” he said.

For a complete list of Maine fairs and status updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/MaineAgriculturalFairs/.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.