From oxen pulls to ax-throwing, the Fryeburg Fair brings agriculture, music and midway entertainment to western Maine, starting Sunday and running through Oct. 10.

The long-running fair is the largest agricultural fair in Maine, attracting 300,000 people annually.

“It’s something people look forward to,” said June Hammond, the Fryeburg Fair’s secretary.

Sunday’s opening-day events stay true to tradition, with poultry, horse riding and flower shows, tractor pulls and a whoopie pie contest.

“Agriculture is our main theme still. And education,” said Hammond. “We try to stick to that, because that is really our mission.”

Throughout the week, visitors can find fair staples including the calf and pig scrambles, 4×4 pulls and sheepdog trials. Ladies with a penchant for pan hurling can take part in Monday’s skillet throw at noon, and shuffleboard aficionados can win cash prizes in Thursday’s Dick Snow Memorial Shuffleboard Tournament, starting at 10 a.m.

Chain saw-wielding men and women will compete in 27 contests, from log rolling to tree felling, during the 43rd annual Woodsmen’s Field Day on Monday.

The fair’s live harness racing is another draw, said Hammond.

“We have kept it at live racing, where a lot of tracks have gone to sending a signal from another track,” she said. “People like that. It’s the old-fashioned way.”

Harness racing will run Tuesday through Sunday; post time is 1:30 p.m. daily.

Live music will fill the fairgrounds daily and nightly, with performances by Steele Magnolia, Tyler Dickerson, Sean Mencher, the Denny Breau Trio, the Half Moon Jug Band and plenty of others.

Admission to the fair costs $10 daily for adults. Children younger than 12 will be admitted for free, and anyone 65 or older will get in free on Tuesday. Fairground parking costs $5, although organizers say the heavy traffic that’s typical on the Saturday of fair week can be avoided by parking away from the fairgrounds.

For more information and a full schedule of events and musical performances, go to www.fryeburgfair.com.

 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at: [email protected]