WINDSOR — The annual Windsor Fair kicked off in a big way Sunday, with massive draft horses in the show ring and supersized pumpkins hitting the scales for a weigh-in.

Bill Mackowski of Milford, owner of Second Wind Farm, weighed in with the largest traditional field pumpkin at 87 pounds. His wife, Francine, also grew a large field pumpkin, at 66 pounds.

“The fun of it is in the breeding and genetics and trying to figure it all out,” Mackowski said after unloading their pumpkins. “It’s a lot of fun. If you want it to be at a fair, you’ve got to participate, otherwise it’s just a carnival. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid.”

Joseph Gaboury of Readfield, who helped oversee the pumpkin contest, said Maine’s biggest giant pumpkins often remain in their gardens until Maine’s premier pumpkin party, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta.

Garboury, a former giant pumpkin state record holder himself with a 1,695 pound pumpkin, said Mackowski’s field pumpkin was the biggest he’s seen grown in Maine. Mackowski said this was his fourth try in the contest, and his biggest pumpkin yet.

Size was also on display Sunday in the show ring, where massive Percheron and other draft horses were judged by Mark Christman of Greene.

“These are terrific examples of the breed,” Christman said of four Percherons that had placed first in their respective categories, including a mother-daughter pair, Fin and Storm, raised by Jamie and Wanda Hutchinson of J&W Hidden Lake Farm in Oxford.

Wanda Hutchinson said they have six Percherons and brought four of them to Windsor. Their horses weigh from 400 pounds for a three-month-old up to 1,900 pounds for an adult. “They are truly gentle giants,” she said.

Carnival rides on the midway were expected to start cranking in the afternoon, along with harness horse racing.

Tom Foster, longtime president of the fair, said a major project on the fairgrounds over the off-season was repairing the underground water system, which sprang a hard-to-find leak.

He said the fair comes together thanks to the work of volunteers, many of whom are from the same families who help every year.

Sunday’s events were to wrap up with the first of two automotive demolition derbies, the second scheduled for Thursday night.

Other featured events include monster truck shows, truck and tractor pulls, farm animal shows and pulling events, sheepdog demonstrations, pie contests, beano, pig scrambles and fireworks.

Entertainers scheduled to perform include comedian Juston McKinney, an Elvis impersonator, musicians including Walter Weymouth, the Court Jesters, Sharon Hood and Dixon Road, the Mainely Country Band, the Hyssongs, and the Undercover Band. Sunday afternoon, Fred Couverette and Tom Berube of The Country Gentlemen performed country classics to a small but appreciative crowd.

Dining options were many, including Mexican, barbecue, fried seafood and chicken, burgers, sausages, jerky, ice cream and fried dough.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.