The 151st annual Cumberland Fair will be held Sept. 24-30. Contributed / Cumberland Fair

After several years’ absence, the oxen are finally coming back to Cumberland.

The popular Canadian vs. American oxen pull will be part of this year’s Cumberland Fair. The event became a fair favorite starting in the 1960s, but pandemic restrictions put a halt to it in recent years.

Cumberland Fair President Lyle Merrifield of Gorham with Brady Watkins, a 19-year-old Canadian with numerous oxen-pulling wins to his credit. Contributed / Lexi Merrifield

“The oxen couldn’t cross the borders,” said Elizabeth Tarantino, secretary of the Cumberland Farmers Club, which hosts the fair. “We’re super excited to bring it back to the fair.”

About 70,000 people are expected to attend the 151st annual Cumberland Fair Sept. 24-30, Tarantino said.

An even bigger draw than the oxen pull, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 28, is the rodeo, she said. New to the fair in 2019, the All American Rodeo has since become the most popular event. It will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 28.

There will be plenty of other activities and entertainment taking place during the week as well.


“You might walk in on Sunday and see the dairy goats, while the giant pumpkin judging is going on,” Tarantino said.

Hosted by the 4-H program at UMaine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland, the 4-H pig raffle fundraiser will also return to the fair this year. Benefiting annual scholarships, camperships, activities, events and trips for 4-H members in the Cumberland community, tickets for the chance to win a freezer-ready pig will cost $1 each. In the past, the raffle has raised up to $5,000 for 4-H programs, 4-H Community Education Assistant Allison Pollock told The Forecaster.

The rodeo is the fair’s most popular event. Contributed / Cumberland Fair

“Cumberland Fair is where the 4-H clubs get to show off all their hard work from this past year,” Pollock said. “I will also be exhibiting my own dairy cattle from my family’s farm, Sunny Morn Farm.”

Entertainment will be around every corner at the fair, with local musicians gearing up to play all week.

The fair remains supportive of local artists, Tarantino said, so a rotating cast of performers keeps the fair interesting.

“We keep adding things rather than subtracting,” Tarantino said.

Tickets to the Cumberland Fair are $12 each, and kids under the age of 12 can attend for free. Senior days will take place Tuesday and Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and getting everyone out there,” Tarantino said.

A full schedule can be found at

Comments are not available on this story.