SPRINGFIELD, Maine — It all started back in 1851. It has been known as Elmwood Park, Springfield Trotting Park, Northern Penobscot Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and — more infamously — throughout the mid to late 1900s as the “drunkard’s reunion.” Since 1991, it has been known as the Springfield Fair.
This upcoming Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, the 164th Springfield Fair will be in a full swing. The fair is known best as the place where pickup pulls started back in 1977. At that time anyone with a truck and a bumper (and more often than not, a few cold beers) could line up to pull their truck. The sophistication and raw power of today’s pulls have evolved over the years. Through an ongoing investment of tens of thousands of dollars, today’s pulling trucks are individual pieces of mechanical art. These guys are serious and it shows. The 2014 fair will have two days of truck and tractor pulling, 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, and Saturday, Aug. 30.
Another of the fair’s strengths is the amount of children’s events that run throughout the final three days. We have two of the more unique shows that one can find. Mutton Bustin’ and Eel Racing. Believed to be the first Maine fair to offer Mutton Bustin’, we are pleased to have Bill and Janice Jordan bringing in their string of wild and wooly sheep from Aroostook County. The kids need to be a certain age and weight to attempt their ride. Wearing helmets and chest protectors, the little ones hang on for dear life as they try and ride out the 8-second time limit. Eel racing is not for the faint of heart. Slippery, slimily wrap around your arms squirming, the eels are placed on a tarp, covered in cold water, and must be picked up and transferred to buckets. To watch the show is hilarious. To listen to the eel master cajole and tease all participants is gut busting funny. In all animal events, it is important to note that the animals are not harmed.
The Springfield Fair is also known for its various draft and riding horse shows. Horse pulling runs for two full days, Sunday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 1, while the draft horse show is all day Saturday, Aug. 30. The livestock part of the weekend concludes with equestrian shows on both Sunday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 1. So, if you love animals, this little fair should help to satisfy your needs – at least for the weekend. Our livestock exhibitions and shows take place throughout the 4 days of the fair.
Being a small fair, located in a very rural location, to be competitive the Springfield Fair has to be creative in its entertainment offerings. We know that we need to catch the eye of the public to be successful. So we focus on lots of fun events for the kids and try to set them up to be entertaining for adults too. This theory was rewarded at the 2013 annual convention of Maine’s agricultural fairs. The Springfield Fair was awarded “Best Children’s Events” and honored publicly. From our fun and exciting midway rides to our “who’s got the best looking denture contest (no longer being offered as it was hinted that this event could be seen as either confusing or offensive to “folks from away.”)
The fair goes full stride in rain or sunshine. You are guaranteed to have an absolute blast at this award winning country fair. Whether you see the antique tractor pulls, the classic and antique car show, or our big money Talent Contest, all on Sunday, or are more into the rowdier motorsports, you should make the trip to the Big City. Finishing early Monday evening with the demolition derby and then the Giant Prize Giveaway. Our demolition derby is unique in that it is not uncommon to see little junior or old Uncle Ab mashin’ up the family car on Labor Day and then spending the next day pounding out the dents so the “ole lady” can drive it to work. Uppity we ain’t; frugal and fun loving we are.
Sponsored and supported by many local and regional businesses, the fair concludes with a big giveaway on Monday night. We always give away a nice, “slightly” used car as grand prize, along with kindles, two muzzle loaders rifles and a variety of other corkin’ gifts. Everyone who pays the daily admission fee, which includes all carnival rides all day every day, receives a form entering them in the giveaway. So find your way to Springfield, Maine over Labor Day Weekend. Located only 75 minutes northeast of Bangor, you won’t be disappointed. For more information go to: www.thespringfieldfair.com. See ya at the fayuh!