One of the exhibition halls at the Topsham Fair. File photo

The Topsham Fair is set to return this summer, bringing back crowds, rides, races, livestock events, tractor pulls and a demolition derby, among other activities.

This year marks the 167th year of the fair, which will be held Aug. 10-15.

“We are planning to have a full-blown fair this year,” Leon Brillant, Topsham Fair president, said. “The idea is to hold all events as usual. There will be lots of fun rides, food stalls, games, ATV mud run, and various other events during the five-day fair.”

The annual Topsham Fair, which draws more than 20,000 people to town, was canceled last year due to restrictions put in place by the state to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Brillant said that there are no restrictions as such at the venue this year.

“People can have their masks on if they wish to. We are still in the planning stage. We would like to see what we end up doing,” Brillant said. “In preparation, we will install hand-sanitizing stations for added safety and convenience.”

Jockeys open up around the final turn during a harness race at the 2019 Topsham Fair. Sun Journal file photo by Russ Dillingham

Meanwhile, this year, the fair will open

Aug. 14-15 at 10 a.m., and all other days at noon. In previous years, gates opened at 8 a.m. The reason for afternoon hours, Brillant said, is because “not many volunteers are willing to come in the mornings.”

“Most of them are available from noon,” Brillant said. “Also, we do more business in the evening than morning hours.”

He added that there is a huge need for volunteers to help the event take place successfully.

Harness racing that brings in a large number of spectators and participants will be held from Aug. 8-10 and again on Aug. 12-14. In addition, the demolition derby will be held on Aug. 11, 14 and 15.

Meanwhile, many netizens welcomed the town’s decision to go ahead with the event this year. Commenting on the town’s Facebook page, one user wrote: “I love the Topsham Fair. I look forward to the food and entertainment all year long.”

More information, including the guidelines, schedule, and safety procedures for the events will be released in the coming weeks, according to the fair’s website at topshamfair.net.

The Topsham Fair has celebrated Maine agriculture since 1855.

Admission is $12, includes entry and access to all rides. Kids under 36 inches tall get in for free and senior citizen day is on Tuesday.

This story was updated July 8 at 9:15 a.m. to clarify the fair’s hours of operation.


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