Summer is a time to kick back and relax, have fun and appreciate the little things that make life sweet.

You can do all those things in one place – a Maine fair. Even though some of Maine’s best known fairs are in the fall, including the Common Ground Country Fair and the Fryeburg Fair, the fair season already has begun.

Between now and the end of August, at least 11 agricultural fairs are scheduled in towns all over the state. Another 11 or so are scheduled for September through early October. For the dates of all Maine’s fairs, and links to their websites, go to Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs site at

All the fairs focus on Maine’s farming tradition and good, old-fashioned, small-town fun, from carnival midways and rides to pig scrambles, tractor pulls and animal shows. Some have more fast-paced action, like horse racing or demolition derbies.

Here are some highlights of a few of the fairs coming up in southern and central Maine in the next two months.

The Ferris wheel carries people above the Skowhegan State Fair in 2021. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

OSSIPEE VALLEY FAIR, Thursday through Sunday


The epitome of a small-town fair, Ossipee Valley Fair in Hiram, near the New Hampshire border, puts a lot of focus on local farmers, their animals, and what they both can do. There’ll be a pig scramble, with kids racing to catch a slippery, fast piglet, so they can take it home and raise it. There’ll also be sheepdog trials, where dogs and owners get to show their skills at moving sheep around a meadow.

A highlight of the fair is the big parade from Kezar Falls village to the fairgrounds, which will be at 6 p.m. Friday. There’s all sorts of competitions too, from ox-pulling and a kid’s pedal tractor pull to egg-tossing and hay-baling. There’ll be a cornhole tournament on Saturday afternoon and a classic car and truck show on Sunday morning. Other features of this year’s fair include a midway carnival, a dunk tank for charity, a bean supper, live music, a blacksmith shop and a horseshoe tournament. Tickets are $10, $5 for seniors and free for 12 and under. For more information, go to

A couple peruse the events schedule at the Ossipee Valley Fair in Hiram in 2021. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer


Perhaps the best name and history of any fair belongs to the Waterford World’s Fair, located in a town of about 1,500 people north of Bridgton. It began in 1852 as Tom Greene’s Fair, because it was in a field near his home. Around 1900, it became the World’s Fair, but there are other World’s Fairs, so it became known as the North Waterford World’s Fair for a long time because that’s the part of town it’s in.

With a heavy focus on farming and animals, events include a saddle horse show, molasses cookie and custard pie judging, a pig scramble, various pulling and hauling competitions, and a sheep dog demonstration. There’s also face painting, hula hooping, cow chip bingo and a scavenger hunt. Admission is $6, free for children 5 and under. For more information and a schedule, go to

Bea Green of Waterford competing in the Waterford World’s Fair Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull last year. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat



This fair in the central Maine town of Pittston is known for strawberries – specifically, its Maine Strawberry Pageant. Girls and women ages 5-20 can compete in various age groups to become either a Maine Strawberry “Blossom,” “Princess” or “Queen.” There’s also a strawberry museum on the fairgrounds, with exhibits about growing strawberries and an area history museum as well.

There will also be a midway of rides and games by Smokey’s Greater Shows, as well as a pig scramble, tractor pulling, a “Goat Fun Show” and a baby contest. Admission is $8, free for kids 12 and under with purchase of adult ticket. For more information, go to

Contestants getting ready for the Maine Strawberry Pageant at the Pittston Fair last year. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

UNION FAIR, July 27-31

For a small town, Union hosts a pretty big fair, averaging about 20,000 visitors and hosting events like a demolition derby on the fair’s last night and a fireworks show on opening night.

While the Pittston Fair has strawberries, the Union Fair is home to the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival. There are blueberry cooking contests, a blueberry museum and the crowning of a Blueberry Queen to represent the Maine blueberry industry throughout the year. Admission is $20, but that includes as many rides as you want to go on, as well as parking. Between 8 a.m. and noon each day, admission is $10, without rides. For more information and the schedule, go to

The midway and rides at the Topsham Fair will likely be a center of attention when the fair opens Aug. 9. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal



The Topsham Fair is one of the closest summer fairs to Portland and just minutes from Brunswick. Though this year’s schedule is not public yet, the fair usually includes harness racing, truck pulling, demolition derby, a blueberry pie contest, 4-H shows, rides, games and performances. Admission last year was $15, including rides and parking. For more information closer to the fair’s opening, go to


Another fair with a big name – but that is a pretty big fair, too – Skowhegan State Fair runs 10 days. And there are some big thrills, with one of the best-known demolition derbies in Maine. At least three derby nights are planned for this year. They usually feature packed grandstands and some ferocious action. There’s also a large midway, exhibition halls, crafters and tons of livestock. Tickets are $10 to $12 most days, but $1 on Aug. 11 and Aug. 16, according to the fair’s website. Children 10 and under are free. For more information, go to

A driver extinguishes an engine fire during the demolition derby at the Skowhegan State Fair in 2021. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

ACTON FAIR, Aug. 25-28

The Acton Fair, near Sanford, is adding a new attraction this year: Crazy Contests from Freddie Prez. Prez, who lives in Maine, takes his show to fairs and events around the country. People compete for big cash prizes by throwing balls at lights, whacking a mole or guessing trivia questions. There are also sound effects, flashing lights and electronic scoreboards. The fair also usually includes a car show, truck pulling, camping, a midway, music, family shows including magic and balloon creations, and a women’s skillet throwing contest. Admission is $10, free for children under 12. For more information, go to

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