WINDSOR — Livestock and agriculture continue to play a major role in the marketing and promotion of the Windsor Fair.

But over the years, other strategies have been used to attract visitors.

Some are new, some are tried and true.

Priscilla Brann, of Windsor, takes a week off from her job at Maine Revenue Services to volunteer at the museum.

She and her husband, Bob Brann, are members of the Windsor Historical Society. He also serves on the fair’s Board of Trustees.

“We’re responsible for our little village down there,” she said. “We made a deal with the (trustees) that we would open the village and our museum during the fair.”

Meanwhile, Dennis Reed, the fair’s Webmaster, said the Internet has been an increasingly successful marketing tool for the fair.

Early every year, he places information about the upcoming fair along with dates and any changes at

“People use it quite a lot during the month leading up to the fair,” Reed said.

Fair President Tom Foster said the most important aspect of the fair’s success revolves around the volunteers and employees who make it go.

In an average year, about 120,000 people attend the fair. Sunday is opening day for the nine-day event, which ends Sept. 6, Labor Day.

The fair’s marketing and promotion strategies include:

• Developing a good relationship with vendors.

• An attractive, well-maintained fairground.

• No charge for parking.

• Low gate admissions – $6 during the week, $8 on weekends and children younger than 16 free.

The fair also provides two days when senior citizens can attend for $2.

“So the whole family can come to the fair and not have to pay a lot of money,” Foster said. “That has been a marketing tool that has worked for us. We also provide something for everyone to see other than just racing and agriculture. We have the (Windsor Historical Society’s) museum complex with all kinds of information about the way things were done 100 years ago. That’s an aspect of the fair others don’t have.”

Reed, of Jefferson, said he started the Web site back in 1998, when he became a Windsor Fair trustee.

The names and numbers of the executive committee are listed on the site along with the fair program, daily schedule, plus the premium book that’s put out for exhibitors.

“They can go to that and print out the page that concerns them,” he said.

“We also have the entertainment and stage shows listed and camper information. That’s a big thing. There’s a lot of campers there now and they can get the application online and check the fair program to see what interests them.”

Stephen Bishop, of Windsor, who manages the fair’s mall area with his wife, Ann, said vendor participation has increased because of the Web site.

“During the year when I’m lining up vendors, pretty much all of the new contacts I get are individuals who receive information from our site,” Bishop said. Elizabeth Poulin was a teen when she started working at the fair 33 years ago.

Poulin takes time off from her job as clerk of the commission for the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to help out collecting tickets.

She and her husband, Timothy, work all nine days.

“I enjoy it,” she said. ” I don’t know what it would be like to go to the fair and not work. It’s like a tradition. I’ve always done it. And the people I work with are like an extended family.”


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