Presque Isle fair draws all ages to midway, music

Posted Aug. 02, 2009, at 10:28 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The antique car show, Lee McLaughlin said Sunday afternoon, was the highlight of the Northern Maine Fair.

But Lisa Kay Miller, a five-time fairgoer, disagreed.

“It is definitely the swings,” the 10-year-old Portland resident said, soon after getting off the ride for the third time.

Although the opinions varied, those attending the 155th annual event on Sunday seemed to agree that the fair was a whole lot of fun.

The fair kicked off on Friday and will run through the week until Saturday, Aug. 8. It is running in conjunction with the Northern Maine Music Festival, which also is being held on the fairgrounds.

The midway at the fair is provided by Smokey’s Greater Shows. Cooking contests, and truck, tractor and horse pulls also will take place.

On Sunday, fairgoers were waiting in line at the Gravitron, the Ferris wheel, the Tilt-A-Whirl and at game booths. Children were enjoying the merry-go-round and pony rides, as well as a water ride and the giant slide.

“I am having a great time,” Miller, who was visiting family in the area, said Sunday afternoon. “I love this fair.”

Miller said that she already had checked out exhibits in the forestry building and visited the petting zoo. She planned to meet up with some cousins later in the day to watch the dog show, a chimpanzee show, and to attend the princess and pirate party in the commercial exhibition building.

McLaughlin was attending the fair for the first time with his wife, Anna. McLaughlin said his wife grew up in the area and the couple vacation along the coast once every three years or so. They drove up to Aroostook County late last week from a Bar Harbor campground to visit friends and stopped at the fair before heading back to the coast.

McLaughlin, who lives in Connecticut, checked out the antique car show inside the Presque Isle Forum.

“I haven’t been to one of those shows in years,” he said. “It was great to see all of the cars I remember from when I was younger. The owners really have kept them up so well. It was amazing.”

Several animal exhibits are going on this year. Organizers have scheduled Pamela Rosaire-Zoppe, a longtime chimpanzee rescuer and trainer. She and husband Roger Zoppe have the last traveling chimpanzee act in the nation.

The chimp show will take place twice a day during the week and three times on the weekends.

Tuesday will be family fun day at the fair. Events planned include a pig scramble, games, a freestyle motocross show and evening fireworks.

The Northern Maine Music Festival features nine nights of local music from various genres, including country, rock, gospel, jazz, fiddle, traditional and bluegrass.

Ticket prices are $7 for ages 13 and older, $2 for ages 7 to 12. Children 6 and under get in free. Weekly passes are $35 for 13 and older, $10 for ages 7 to 12.

For information on the fair, go to www.northernmainefairgrounds.com.

jlbdn@ainop.com

538-6567

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