September 27, 2012

Think you know the Fryeburg Fair?

Here's our guide to lots of cool, interesting or less visible elements that might get lost in the crowd.

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

For some in the know, the Fryeburg Fair is about treats from places like Tom’s Jumbo Donut.

Courtesy photos

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WHEN: Gates open at 7 a.m. daily Sunday to Oct. 7. Buildings close at 9 p.m., but the midway stays open later depending on the size of the crowd.

WHERE: 1154 Main St. (Route 5), Fryeburg

HOW MUCH: $10; free for children under age 12; free for seniors ages 65 and older on Tuesday

INFO & SCHEDULE: 935-3268;

WHAT ELSE: From 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and Oct. 7, you can ride all the mechanical rides as many times as you want for $20.

So here's the secret part: The shows don't cost extra, and there's no reserved seating.

You just pay your $10 to get into the fair and amble over to the harness racing track at some point before 8 p.m. Then you just pick a seat in the wooden grandstand or set up a lawn chair on the infield and wait for the show to begin.

"It's first-come, first-served," said Rachel Andrews Damon, the fair's publicity chair. "People can set up chairs, sit in the grandstand, whatever they want." 


Fair organizers will tell you that the best way to avoid traffic snarls on busy fair days -- like on Oct. 6, when the annual parade is scheduled -- is to use the northern route. The easiest way to do this from Portland is to take Route 302 West, which is a popular route to Fryeburg.

But instead of taking it all the way to Fryeburg, just take it through downtown Bridgton, then look for state Route 93. Take a right there and follow Route 93 to Route 5 in Lovell. Then take a left and follow Route 5 South into Fryeburg and the various fair parking lots.

It adds some miles to your trip, but it might save you the headache of inching your way through an hour or more of traffic jams.


This one's definitely a secret, because it hasn't happened yet. For the first time, the fair will have a building devoted to selling local specialty foods. So instead of just eyeing some spectacular homemade blueberry jam in an exposition hall, you can buy some blueberry jam and bring it home.

The 6,800-square-foot building was built specifically to be the "Specialty Food Pavilion," and will be open for the first time this year. It's located next to the Natural Resource Center, which is between the animal barns and the Old McDonald's petting zoo.

The building will have local folks selling all manner of locally made foods, from jams and jellies to sauces, gourmet popcorn, olive oil and chocolates.

You can get olive oil at the Fryeburg Fair?

Now that's a secret worth sharing.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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It's also about the animals.


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