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Houlton fair kicks off the summer season in northern Maine

Jen Lynds | BDN
Jen Lynds | BDN
Revelers line up to ride the midway at the Houlton Agricultural Fair on Monday, July 4, 2011. The annual fair began on Friday and wrapped up Monday evening with fireworks in Community Park.
By Julia Bayly, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine – In northern Maine, July 4 means celebration, independence, fireworks and the start of the region’s agricultural fair season.

Things are off to a bang with the opening of the Houlton Agricultural Fair running Wednesday through Sunday at the Houlton Fair Grounds in Community Park.

“I’m looking forward to another great year of the Houlton fair,” Paul Cleary, fair president, said in a press release. “Without the help of more than 100 volunteers every year, the fair wouldn’t be a success.”

New to the fair this year is the Live and Local Music Fest starting Friday at noon, featuring local bands on the softball field.

There are agricultural events for farmers young and old, including antique tractor pulls, horse shows, market hog shows, a pig scramble, a sheep show, a dog show, rabbit show and cooking contests featuring the best of northern Maine’s bounty including apples, blueberries and dairy products.

Throughout each day, families can take part in sporting events from traditional to a little offbeat like softball and soccer contests or try their hands at a Hula Hoop contest and frying pan tossing competition and the salsa-chugging contest.

Other events include Dan Grady and His Marionettes, a midway, karaoke, pie eating contests, a piñata contest, a scavenger hunt and Moxie chugging.

Starting around 9:20 p.m. on the Fourth is what organizers are billing “the largest fireworks show north of Portland for the holiday” on the fairgrounds.

Admission to the Houlton Agricultural Fair is $10 per person with on-site parking available at $5 a vehicle.

Friday is the fair’s Family Fun Day and admission is $25 a carload.

For complete information and a schedule of events for the 2012 Houlton Agricultural Fair visit houltonfair.com.

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