With humble beginnings on a frosty day in March of 1851, Maine’s Fryeburg Fair has grown to epic proportions over the years. What started with a few local farmers seeking to show off their wares, the fair now attracts thousands across North America for a week-long extravaganza dedicated to livestock, agricultural exhibitions, and quirky contests. Now in its 173rd year, the fair returns to Fryeburg, Maine, from October 1 thru 8, 2023.
Tickets are now on sale, and you would be well-served to purchase them in advance. Admission is free for children under the age of 12. Those 12 and over pay $15.00. There is an additional charge of $5.00 to park your car.
About the Fair
An event as big as the Fryeburg Fair doesn’t happen without dedicated volunteers to attend to each and every detail needed to pull off this blue-ribbon classic. More than 600 local folks volunteer their time and energy to ensure that everything runs smoothly come fair time. There is much labor behind the scenes, but without the maintenance and clean-up crews, the security patrol, parking attendants, and office personnel, the fair would not garner the national attention it so proudly earns.
Sprawling across 185 acres, with 100 buildings on site, the fair hosts upwards of 3,000 animals, including prize-winning ponies, draft horses, racing horses, beef cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry. Prizes are awarded in dozens of categories, from show stock to pulling competitions.
The exhibitions are open to anyone wanting to showcase their home-grown and hand-crafted talent. Wander the halls and grounds to see hand-made Christmas wreaths, quilts, fiber arts, floral designs, garden inspiration, and more. In addition to the variety of agricultural and hand-crafted displays, you’ll find commercial vendors featuring farm tools and equipment, home improvement projects, and trucks and trailers.
Open 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily, a tour of the farm museum is like a trip down memory lane. Featuring craft demonstrations and memorabilia from days gone by, the museum focuses on the early trades of New England. Most early industries get equal representation, from lumbering and log driving to carpentry and beekeeping.
A fair isn’t great without various fabulous entertainment, exciting carnival rides, and spirited contests. Dreamland Amusements brings the midway to the fair with 32 rides for thrill seekers and family-friendly offerings. A variety of musicians perform throughout the day and evening at the fair. While past performances include the Charlie Daniels Band, Lady Antebellum, and Clint Black, the Marshall Tucker Band will take the stage for one of the nightly performances this year. Keep an eye on the Fryeburg Fair Facebook page for announcements regarding additional performers.
Harness racing, a fireman’s muster, and a woodman’s field day are among the traditional events planned for the fair. But sheep dog trials, pig scrambles, and tractor pulls are equally entertaining. Women of all ages face off for the popular skillet toss, while men compete for bragging rites at the anvil throw.
In a nutshell, the Fryeburg Fair offers something for everyone when fall rolls around. Join the thousands of eager participants that flock to the region for a taste of downhome country fun. Less than an hour from our lakefront Maine bed and breakfast, Maine’s Fryeburg Fair should definitely be on your bucket list. We can’t wait to explore the fairgrounds and meet and greet our neighbors who bring this wonderful event to Maine each year.
Check out our blog for even more area activities during your stay here at Wolf Cove Inn.
Published August 2023