A child falls off a sheep during the mutton busting contest Sept. 8, 2019, at the Litchfield Fair. After it was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, the fair is expected to return Sept. 10-12. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

LITCHFIELD — A year after the coronavirus pandemic shut down fairs and events across the state in 2020, the Litchfield Fair is planning to return.

According to Dawn Mills, chairperson of the Litchfield Fair’s advertising committee, this year’s fair — Sept. 10 to 12 at 44 Plains Road — will essentially look the same as the town’s 2019 fair.

Parking is free, and admission for kids under 12 is free, $5 for ages 12 to 17, $9 for adults, $5 for ages 65 and older with senior citizens getting free admission on Friday.

Mills said there will be an online ticketing option this year in an effort to avoid a buildup at the gates. Tickets can be purchased at the Litchfield Fair website, which also includes a full schedule, at litchfieldfair.com/tickets.

Though organizers last October were nervous about the pandemic leading to a potential cancellation this year, Mills said they began planning as if the fair would happen, taking new guidelines into consideration as they came.

“As it gets closer and cases keep rising, we get a little nervous about what’s going to happen,” she said, “but we think it’s going to be good.”


Mills said it’s too early to say if any regulations, such as masks or social distancing, would be asked of guests attending the fair.

“At this point we’re not requiring masks,” she said, “but that could change depending on what the governor has to say. We just want people to be safe and have a good time. We’re anxious to see everybody, and it’s just a wonderful little country fair.”

Mills said Wednesday that organizers are still working to bring back “Old McDonald’s Barn” this year. Uncertainties around this activity, which she said is akin to a petting zoo, are not related to COVID-19, but because the person who runs it has an illness in the family. Fair organizers are still in the process of finding someone to work “Old McDonald’s Barn,” and it may still happen this year.

The apple pie contest is the only event not returning this year. Mills said it was canceled because it involves judging, tasting and sharing the apple pies with other people.

“The rides are still going,” she said. “All the fair food will be there, and all our other events are going as they always have. We’re making every effort to try to keep it the same as we’ve always had it.”

The fair will also contain numerous displays and references to the state’s bicentennial, in addition to demonstrations at the fair museum.


Mills said they received several positive responses online after announcing the fair’s return.

“When we first posted that we were back and that we planned to run the fair as normally as possible, we had lots of responses from people that were really happy to have it back,” she said. “I have a granddaughter that’s very excited to try and chase a pig in the pig scramble, and a grandmother who is very excited to watch her.”

Popular events at the fair include the Redneck Truck Pull and the Demolition Derby, which Mills said always receives a big community turnout.

The three-day fair is organized by a group of about 20 people. Planning begins as early as October of the previous year, with the bulk of the work taking place from March until the day of the fair.

“It just amazes me,” said Mills. “These people have done it for so long. They work really, really hard. We get together every Tuesday night, all summer long,” adding that even before March there is still a good amount of behind the scenes work and coordination involved with setting up the fair.

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