FARMINGTON — The Farmington Fair is scheduled to open next Sunday and feature several new events, including a hay bale decorating contest.

Participation is open to all nonprofits and youth clubs, groups or organizations in Franklin County. There is no fee to enter.

The Farmington Fair is offering a hay bale decorating contest this year for area nonprofits and youth groups. Visitors will vote for their favorite by placing a dollar in a lockbox and the winner receiving the most money wins. This decorated bale was seen in November 2017 in Fayette. Franklin Journal file photo

“Entries will be judged by votes in lockboxes at each bale station,” according to the fair’s Facebook page. “Votes will be cast by $1 bills. Each group will keep the $1 bills in their boxes. Money will be collected every evening and awarded to each group at the end of the fair. Whoever raises the most money wins.”

The contest was suggested by Tyler Jenness of Chesterville.

“I was trying to come up with new ideas to help the fair succeed, especially ones that don’t cost the fair any money,” he said.

“Topsham Fair has done it for a number of years,” he said Wednesday. “I decorated a hay bale at Topsham Fair this year. It doesn’t cost the fair any money. I am donating the hay bales, hope people will have some fun with it.”


Jenness left a message with Neal Yeaton, fair secretary and later told Edward Hastings IV of Chesterville about his idea. Hastings, in turn, brought it directors of the Franklin County Agricultural Society, which sponsors the fair.

Four groups have registered so far and Jenness is hoping to have eight to 10 to help raise community awareness and support for them. “We are halfway there,” he noted. “The contest is a fundraiser, all money raised goes to the clubs or groups. I hope people will come out, donate and have a good time.”

After the fair, the bales will be used for livestock feed, so the wrapping cannot be punctured during decorating. Tape may be used to attach items to the bales, which may not be stacked for safety purposes. Non-toxic paint may be applied to the bale only, not surrounding areas.

Groups may begin decorating Friday. Decorating must be completed by 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17.

The 182nd edition of the fair run through Saturday, Sept. 23.

For more information, visit the fair’s Facebook page or call Carrie Jenness at 207-491-5349.

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