Diana Morgan and James Chick hang a sign on the pulling ring barn Sunday at the Monmouth Fairgrounds. Starting Wednesday, the agricultural exhibition will be the first fair of the season and the first to open in Maine since the statewide quarantine in 2020, according to Morgan, Monmouth Fair’s president. The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines will be observed, according to Morgan. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

MONMOUTH — After events across the state and country were put on hold last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monmouth Fair will be the state’s first fair since the pandemic led to the cancellation of Maine fairs and events.

Monmouth Fair board President Diana Morgan said guests are asked to adhere to Maine CDC guidelines amid the pandemic, which currently states that masks are not required by fully vaccinated individuals.

“We are making every attempt to make this year’s fair look as normal as possible,” she said, “however please understand many things are different this year,” adding that she and the Monmouth Fair board of directors are working to deliver the best fair possible.

And while the state of the world in 2021 is much different than it was during Monmouth’s last fair, Morgan said this year’s four-day event will be similar to 2019, when organizers moved the event dates from August to June, kicking off Maine’s agricultural fair season.

Morgan said about 15 to 20 board members and fair officials are responsible for organizing the fair. She began preliminary planning back in December 2020.

“We have been in close communication with other fair presidents and the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs throughout the winter, and indications were that guidelines and restrictions were going to loosen up,” Morgan said. “We thought we would be able to safely have the fair and, since then, things have loosened up.”


Gary Buzzell, left, and Joy Buzzell set up the frame for a canopy outside the museum June 12, 2019, at the Monmouth Fairgrounds. The fair opens Wednesday and runs through Saturday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The four-day fair kicks off Wednesday, when anyone age 65 and older can enter free of charge. Admission for children under 12 is free every day, the price for children 12 to 17 is $3, and $6 for guests 18 and over. Admission for senior citizens is $3 Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Parking is free each day of the fair, and bracelets are $15.

According to the Monmouth Fair website, each day will have its own unique series of events, with Wednesday featuring a farmers’ horse pull and log hauling at noon, a pedal tractor pull at 5:30 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m. a frying pan and hay bale toss and performance from The Curtis Bogwater Band is planned.

Guests on Thursday will be treated to a farmers’ steers and oxen pull at 9 a.m., a baby show at 10:30 a.m., and a performance from Sharon Hood & Dixon Road at 6:30 p.m.

Friday is set to feature open steer and oxen pulling throughout the day, a 4 p.m. stage show featuring “Mr. Drew and His Animals Too,” a 5:30 p.m. pig scramble for children 5 to 6 years old, and a 7:30 p.m. stage show from Samuel Jack Tea.

The final day of the fair will include Dana’s Ventriloquist & Magic Show at noon, a stage presentation from Sparks’ Ark Animal Services at 3:30 p.m., a 5:30 p.m. pig scramble for children 7 to 8 years old, a red neck truck pull at 7 p.m., and a 7:30 p.m. stage show from the band 12/OC.

Bike drawings will occur throughout the fair, with two bicycles being given away during each drawing. The fair will also feature three driver’s education giveaways, with two certificates paying full tuition for the classes, and another gift certificate for $300 worth of driver’s education.

“We’re very excited that we’re able to have the fair this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing our fair friends and offering some live entertainment, which many people haven’t seen for a long time,” Morgan said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to get out and socialize.”

A full schedule of events is available on the Monmouth Fair website.

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