The rides are being set up on the midway, and organizers are preparing for the thousands of people expected to stream through the gates for the 62nd annual Pittston Fair starting Thursday and finishing Sunday evening.

The amusement rides will be ready for fairgoers by Thursday evening, a day earlier than scheduled, said Peter Weeks, vice president of the Pittston Fair Association. The first night of this weekend’s agricultural fair also will feature a performance from the funk-and-disco cover band Motor Booty Affair at 7 p.m.

The fair begins Thursday morning with the agriculture day, which includes a steer and oxen pull, a 4-H horse show and farm animal demonstrations. A four-wheeler pull also is scheduled to take place during the Motor Booty Affair show.

The fair often draws 6,000 to 7,000 attendees, but the turnout depends a lot on the weather, Weeks said. It appears the weather will cooperate this year, with forecasts of high temperatures around 80 degrees for the weekend.

The fireworks show by Central Maine Pyrotechnics is scheduled for Friday night, and Weeks said this year’s show will be even bigger than last year’s, thanks to a larger fireworks budget.

“He always gives us a big show,” Weeks said, referring to Central Maine Pyrotechnics owner Steve Marson. “Every year he tells me it’s bigger, and it is.”

The burnout competition – an addition to the fair last year and a popular event at the fairgrounds mud runs – is returning Saturday evening.

“People burn their tires on their vehicles,” Weeks said, “see who can make the most smoke. They can win some money doing that.”

He said a new event this year is a goat show scheduled for Friday morning. People can bring their goats and have them judged, Weeks said.

This year’s fair also includes a pig scramble, the Strawberry Pageant, a frying pan toss, a bicycle giveaway and – one of Weeks’ favorites – a strawberry pie-making contest.

“Last year I was fortunate to be asked to get involved in that,” he said. “It’s hard to eat 20 pieces of pie, but I can do it.”

The full schedule of events being held at the fairgrounds on Route 194 can be found on the association’s website.