Abigail Curtis, of the news staff - DOVER-FOXCROFT - Live music, midway rides, a demolition derby and the ever-popular pig scramble are just a few highlights of the 117th edition of the Piscataquis Valley Fair, to be held Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 26-29, at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds.
Organizers of the family-friendly, down-home event have had a challenging spring and summer preparing for the fair. On April 6, two Dover-Foxcroft youths set fire to buildings, farm equipment and recreational vehicles at the fairgrounds, causing more than $100,000 in damage. The community pulled together to donate money, time and materials to rebuild a barn, according to Piscataquis Valley Fair Association Vice President Nanette Redmond of Dover-Foxcroft.
"The arson of the fair buildings put a big crimp in our plans for the summer," Redmond said Monday. "But we kind of shook ourselves off and got everything going. And actually, we are looking forward to using our new barn."
Redmond expects that the live music - predominantly country and bluegrass - will draw big crowds at the fair. Headliners are the country groups Little Texas and the Don Campbell Band, performing Saturday night. Little Texas, the Academy of Country Music's vocal group of the year in 1994, is known for their hit single "God Bless Texas."
Thursday's performers include Midnight Rose, the Community Band, and Rivertown. The Maine-ly Country Band and New Society perform Friday. Maine bluegrass group Evergreen will perform Sunday, along with another local group that Redmond is particularly excited to hear: the Abbott Hill Ramblers of Dexter.
"It's a bluegrass group made up of junior high and high school students from Dexter Regional High School," the organizer said. "I hear they're very good. And it's unusual to have such a young group performing."
One unique event that is also expected to draw a crowd is Saturday afternoon's skillet-throwing competition, open to interested women. Competitors test their strength in tossing a 31/2-pound steel skillet as far as they can, sometimes more than 50 feet.
"Some of those ladies can really pitch a frying pan," Redmond said.
Sunday's pig scramble is another signature event for the fair. Children are given burlap bags and penned up in a ring with piglets. After the dust settles and the pigs are bagged, the children keep or sell their hard-caught piglets.
Other events include a magic show, frog jumping contest, peddle tractor pull for children, animal costume parade, American Legion Bingo and many livestock events. Also planned for the fair:
- Pony pulling, 12 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26
General admission to the fair is $6, with reduced rates for children 5 to 10 years old. Admission is free for children under 5. On Friday, admission for seniors is $3. Wristbands for ride admittance are $12 on all days. Free parking is available on the grounds.
For more information, call 564-7533, or go to www.piscataquisvalleyfair.com.
Judy Craig Consulting will again be broadcasting live via internet at the fair. Check out www.PiscataquisValleyFair.com for the current schedule, information and last years photos. JCC will be working on the grounds posting Agriculture results, winners, etc and posting and lots of photographs. So if you can be at the fair in person, join us live at www.PiscataquisValleyFair.com.
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