Ben Smith of Skowhegan cleans the skirting of Stan McGray’s booth, Stan’s French Fries, on Tuesday in preparation for Sunday’s opening of the Farmington Fair. The fair takes place Sept. 17-13 at 292 High St. in Farmington. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — The 182nd edition of Farmington Fair is set for Sunday, Sept. 17, through Saturday, Sept. 23, with many popular favorites returning and several new or expanded events too.

Franklin County Agricultural Society, established in 1840, puts on the annual fair which features exhibitions, entertainment, fair food and so much more.

Throughout the week, be sure to check out entries in the hay bale decorating contest, a new event this year. Area non-profit organizations and youth groups decorated a bale with the public using dollar bills to vote for the favorite. The entry raising the most money will be declared the winner. All groups receive the money collected for their entry at the end of the fair.

Another new event comes from the generosity of a fair supporter. Two seven-speed, 24 inch tall tri-bikes with baskets on the front and back have been donated and senior citizens will be able to enter a raffle to win one of them on either Tuesday or Thursday evening right after the 6 p.m. bike drawings for youth in the pulling ring.

“I thought it was time to do something for the seniors,” the benefactor [who does not wish to be named] said Friday, Sept. 8. “These are rugged bikes, came from a company in California. I wasn’t sure they would get here in time, so they weren’t put in the schedule. They did.”

These miniature replica of kitchen utensils once found in rural homes, seen Friday, Sept. 8, are part of a new display that will be found upstairs in the Exhibition Hall, during Farmington Fair this year. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Also new, a corn hole tournament is taking place on the midway Sunday, Neal Yeaton, secretary said later Friday. “Anybody can enter a team and register,” he noted. “A local corn hole group is putting it on.”


The age for the pie eating contest 4 p.m. Sunday in  Worthley Arena has been expanded, Yeaton said. “Judy [Smith] is feeling brave.”

“There was a lot of interest last year for an adult division,” Smith said in a phone interview Friday evening.

Her thought was to have three divisions this year, one for five and six year olds, one for those seven and eight plus one for those over 18. There was a mix up and the fair schedule lists one division for five to 18 year olds.

“If the interest is there for the in between ages, we will do something,” Smith stated. “I am all for it. It has taken a few years for it to take off. I will make sure I will have enough pies. I may have to cut the pieces smaller.”

Smith also organizes the costume contest for three and four year olds, set to take place at 2:30 p.m. in Worthley Arena. The theme this year is ‘Country’ and prizes will be given in four categories: most creative, funniest, cutest and prettiest/most colorful.

There hasn’t been a lot of participation in the past, Smith wants to remind people of this fun event.


The Rave X Outer Limits Freestyle Tour will be taking place 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in front of the racing grandstand as part of Farmington Fair. Motorcyclists will be performing jumps and other stunts. Submitted photo

“I always felt it was good to have some things for younger children to take part in,” she said. “Other fairs do.”

A bike race for kids has been added 6 p.m. Sunday in front of the race grandstand. “We have several [At least nine and maybe more!] brand new bikes and other giveaways to the winners and participants of these races,” according to the fair’s Facebook page.

Agriculture Education Day returns Monday morning this year. It was noted 42 presenters will be sharing their areas of expertise with 42 school groups from around the region.

Tuesday and Thursday are senior citizen days. Nick Rowley with University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be giving a talk on gardening both days at 2 p.m. in the park, Yeaton said. “Hopefully, somebody will appreciate that,” he noted.

David Mallett Band [the father, not the brothers band] will be performing Tuesday evening at the racing grandstand, Yeaton said.

The 4-H livestock auction will be returning 7 p.m. Wednesday in the sheep barn. It is returning after several year without one.


No Left Turn, a local band that “does a bit of everything” will perform at the same time at the racing grandstand, according to Yeaton.

Thursday evening, six motorcycles will be going over jumps, doing stunts in the Rave X Outer Limits Freestyle Tour from 6-8 p.m. in front of the race grandstand, Yeaton said. “It should be a very good show,” he noted.

After one group’s display was moved downstairs in the Exhibition Hall this year, something had to be found for the vacant space upstairs. Glenda Barker, director of the hall, and her assistant and daughter, Faylene Nile, used some recent donations and things they had to create a whimsical display featuring a rural scene and lots of things once used in daily living on the farm.

Nile said another addition upstairs will be a table where children can color farm-themed pages that will later be hung on the fence in front of the youth paintings section.

This display seen Friday, Sept. 8, on the second floor of the Exhibition Hall will be sure to interest many visitors to Farmington Fair in Farmington this year. Set for Sept. 17 to 23, a number of new events have been added and several others are returning. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

In the time since last year’s fair, many improvements have been made to the buildings and grounds, Yeaton said. Wind last winter caused some damage, rain this summer meant a few planned things didn’t get finished, he noted.

A late edition to the fair this year, liberty horses takes place 6 p.m. Saturday in the pulling ring. “Liberty is the art of connecting with your horse while they’re completely free, no ropes connecting horse and handler. This demonstration will include multiple horses working together, bridle-less riding, and more,” according to the Facebook page Sunday night.


There will be time to meet the horses and learn their stories before seeing them in action, beginning at about 4:30 p.m. in the pulling ring. It was moved from Worthley Arena, Yeaton said later Sunday.

Gamilah Unbridled and Modern-Day Horsemanship are the organizations involved, with Avery Allumbaugh doing the demonstrations, according to the fair’s website listing for the event. “Growing up she rode a wide variety of horses and competed in many different disciplines,” it notes. “She discovered liberty horsemanship in 2019 and that ignited a passion that she has been following ever since.”

The site also notes Allumbaugh competed on the 4-H Eastern States Exposition team 2 years in a row, was Reserve champion in showmanship and Grand Champion in Equitation 2012.

“This is a girl who does something with rescue horses, a chance to see what she does,” Yeaton said. “She contacted the board by email.”

“Barbara Walsh has taken over the Miss Farmington Fair Pageant, and it is a definite go,” Yeaton noted. “We weren’t sure it was going to happen. “Barbara’s got a crew that is going to help her pull it off.”

Other last minute additions or changes may occur. To keep up to date, visit the fair’s website or Facebook page.

“Things will fall in place,” Yeaton added.

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