During the 142 years of the Cumberland County Fair, the fairgrounds in Cumberland has witnessed some big developments, including the installation of electricity in 1945 and the addition of three telephones in 1946.

This year’s installation of new lighting along the racetrack may not be as exciting as the track’s first set of lights was when it went up in 1948. That doesn’t mean the fair, which will run from Sunday through Oct. 2, won’t surprise visitors.

Volunteers are getting this year’s fair off to a roaring start, said Mike Timmons, one of the directors who organizes the harness racing at the fair. The opening day will be a “total family package,” he said, with something for everyone.

What’s in store? A pumpkin contest (always a favorite), a dairy goat show, a pedal tractor pull, pig races, harness racing, a miniature horse show, midway rides, a karaoke contest and performances by local country favorites the Don Campbell Band and comedian Bob Marley.

Sunday will be the fair’s Make-a-Wish day, with families from the program enjoying the day while the fair raises money to benefit the group.

Jason Bartlett, a Winslow native who is a harness racer based in New York, will participate in one of the fair’s Make-a-Wish programs Sunday, and is scheduled to drive in all of Sunday’s races.

Something new at the fair this year (in part, courtesy of the new track lighting) will be night harness racing, at 7 p.m. Monday and Friday.

Timmons said fair organizers wanted to offer night racing so people who work during the day could still attend races.

They also hope the night racing will bring more people to the fair.

“We keep our agriculture in the forefront” of the fair’s activities, Timmons said, but there will be plenty of other events, including performances by Irish dancers, the Bob Charest Band, Tony Boffa and the Hysongs Gospel Group, freestyle jumping and a classic car show.

Being mindful of the tough economic times, fair organizers have made sure to include some bargains. Children who are 12 or younger will get in free.

There will be three midway ride promotion days — Monday, Wednesday and Thursday — when you can pay $15 to ride any of the rides. Seniors will be admitted for $2 on Tuesday and Thursday.

Staff Writer Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: [email protected]


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