grand parade

The Fryeburg Fair Grand Parade will be back, along with other fair fun such as the midway, vendor booths and woodmen's day. (FILE PHOTO)

FRYEBURG, Maine — Fryeburg Fair, established in 1851, will host its 171st annual eight-day Fair from Sunday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 10.

The fair’s traditional program was interrupted last year by COVID. This year, fairgoers should check the fair’s Facebook page and website before arriving. It is recommended to have your masks available. Handwashing stations and sanitizer will be in abundance.

The fair remains vigilant and flexible while keeping the safety of fairgoers, employees, vendors and exhibitors as their first priority. COVID guidance is provided to Fryeburg Fair by the State of Maine, the Department of Agriculture and the CDC and is followed accordingly.

Always held against the beautiful backdrop of fall foliage and the White Mountains, this year’s Fair expects to be a big one. It is best to plan your travel to the Fair by arriving early and staying late. Weekends are busiest. Traffic can be heavy due to our rural roads.

Thr full program is available at fryeburgfair.org, and printed copies can be picked up from the Fair office.

In continuing efforts to limit costs and paper waste, the fair’s Premium Book is now online only. All entry forms for exhibitors and vendors can be found online. For the first time, Agricultural Exhibition Center entries may be done online. It’s easy and convenient. Other entries will be able to be done in this format in the future.

Opening at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3, highlights include the Firemen’s Muster, 4H Horse Show, Sheepdog Trials, the first of four Pig Scrambles, Ox and Draft Horse Pulling, Flower, Poultry, Dairy Goat, Fleece, Fiber and Sheep Shows, Wreathmaking, Baking Contests, a Duck Herding Demonstration (new this year!) and the very popular Tractor & Big Rig Pull! Check our program for times and durations.

Woodsmen’s Field Day is on Monday, Oct. 4. This event starts at 9 a.m. and is the largest spectator woodsmen’s event in North America. Contestants come from all over the U.S. and Canada to compete in over 34 wood skills events. The fair’s very popular Women’s Skillet Throw starts at noon followed by the Men’s Anvil Toss. Both events open to members of the public who wish to throw heavy objects!

Tuesday, Oct. 5 is Senior Citizen’s Day — with free admission to all those 65 and older. Bring your grandparents for a day to remember.

This year’s Night Show roster aligns with Maine’s bicentennial featuring only Maine & New Hampshire talent.

The 2021 fair brings you Susie Pepper & Mixology (Classic Rock — Monday), Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty Tribute — Tuesday), Rave X, The Outer Limits Tour (Freestyle Motorsports Show — Wednesday), Studio Two — A Beatles Tribute (Beatles Classics — Thursday), Motor Booty Affair (Seventies Disco — Friday) followed by the annual fireworks show and Peter Allen & Hurricane Mountain (Country — Saturday).

All night shows begin at 8 pm at The Racing Grandstand. Thursday’s Night Show will include a special “Dress for the '60’” event. To participate, 60’s-themed fairgoers must stop by at the Front Gate Information Booth between 5-6:30 p.m. for a photo and to complete an entry form.

Three winners will win prizes of four fair tickets per prize awarded at the beginning of the Night Show. Winners will be called up on stage and must be present to win! Fireworks immediately follow the Friday, Oct. 8 show.

The Grand Parade on Saturday, Oct. 9 begins at 10 am. Grab your coffee and breakfast and don’t miss this narrated showcase of the fair’s best livestock, floats, bands, businesses and antique cars.

Fryeburg Fair is also a foodie’s paradise. Two beer tents will be open this year hosted by Rustic Taps Catering of Gorham, Maine. Locations are on the north side of the race track and next to the Natural Resources Building. Rustic Taps also serves stone-oven pizzas, which are fantastic.

Love shopping? Vendors will be selling unique must-have crafts and gifts. Musicians, dancers, jugglers, entertainers, flower artists, farm and history museums, will be in full swing doing what they do best.

Midway games and rides for everyone with ride bracelet bargains on all mechanical rides (also known as "Bracelet Days") on Tuesday (10/5), Wednesday (10/6), Thursday (10/7) and last Sunday (10/10) from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. for $25.00. Kiddie Land bracelet days are on the first Sunday (10/3) and Monday (10/4) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for $15.

Camping at Fryeburg Fair is very popular, and sites are going fast. Contact the Camping Office by email at camping@fryeburgfair.org or by calling (207) 935-2912.

A few housekeeping notes: The infield area of the fair will be closed to the public beginning this year except for those participating in Woodsmen’s Field Day and Saturday’s grand parade.

Lifetime members are able to park in general parking for free as always. There is plenty of general parking at Fryeburg Fair. Due to staffing shortages, the company that offered rentals of strollers, wagons, scooters and wheelchairs will be unable to attend. You must bring your own.

General admission continues to be $12 daily and includes the 8 p.m. Night Show. Tickets can be pre-purchased online now or at the gate in person. Weekly passes (all eight days) are $80 and must be purchased at the fair.

Children under 12 are always free. Tuesday is Senior Citizen’s Day (65 & over are admitted free). Gates open at 7 a.m. Harness racing starts at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Group tickets sales available from the fair.

For further information about the fair, go to fryeburgfair.org or email info@fryeburgfair.org or call (207) 935-3268.

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