BANGOR, Maine - Entertaining dogs, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, a country music showdown, a “driving school” for toddlers, and new rides for adrenaline junkies are among the latest additions to the Bangor State Fair lineup.
Also new this year are a rock music show to raise funds for summer camp scholarships, a professional clown and an official state fair live video stream, which can be seen at the event’ s Internet site at www.bangorstatefair.com. The Web site also contains the complete schedule, information on featured acts, contests and more.
The 159th edition of the Bangor State Fair opens at noon today and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3, at Bass Park.
Besides the new events, the fair also will offer those who attend a wide range of traditional agricultural activities, midway rides and games, concessions, and events for motor sport enthusiasts, including a demolition derby, a truck pull competition, and freestyle motocross and snowmobile shows.
Some of this year’ s new features were unveiled Thursday during a sneak peak for area media outlets.
Despite the day’ s dark clouds and occasional bursts of rain, Bass Park Director Michael Dyer opened this year’ s pre-fair news conference wearing a pair of sunglasses.
“You have to be an eternal optimist in this business,” Dyer said with a grin.
Though Thursday dawned dark and gloomy, weather forecasts called for some sun over the weekend and a pleasant start for next week.
During the press event, City Council Chairwoman Susan Hawes was upstaged by a baboon.
As she stood next to Dyer to extend a welcome to fair-goers, a toddler-sized baboon wearing a blue diaper hopped up onto Dyer’ s shoulder and proceeded to pat him on the head and run his fingers through Dyer’ s hair, drawing laughter from reporters and photographers.
The baboon, named Mickey, came to Bangor with California-based Wild About Monkeys, one of several acts that will perform daily during the fair.
Baboon trainer Kevin Keith has a degree in exotic animal training from Moorpark College in California. Baboons he has trained have appeared in films, on television and in commercials.
Also appearing daily will be:
? Disc-Connected K9s, a traveling troupe of talented dogs who were abandoned or rescued from shelters before being trained by Lawrence Frederick, a former Frisbee world champion.
Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, featuring lumberjack history and demonstrations of such logging skills as chopping, speed climbing, log rolling, ax throwing and chain-saw carving.
Toddler Games Driving School, for children ages 1 to 4 who want to drive pedal cars, motorcycles and farm tractors. Parents act as official driving coaches as children learn about traffic safety, how to make left- and right-hand turns, back up, stop and parallel park.
Granpa and Granma Cratchet, described as “Sesame Street-type” puppets, and Dune Buggy, a professional clown, magician, balloon sculpturist and entertainer.
For music fans, the fair will feature the WTOS-FM 105.1 “Rock Relief” show at 7 p.m. Monday, to raise money to send children to a YMCA Camp in Winthrop, and the WQCB-FM 106.5 Colgate Country Showdown at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The winner of the Bangor showdown moves on to the New England States showdown in October at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts, where contestants will compete for a spot in the national competition.
Fair-goers who like to ride can take advantage of Wristband Days Monday through Wednesday, July 28-30. On those days an unlimited ride wristband will cost $20 after fair admission of $7 for the general public, $5 senior citizens, $3 children 12 and under. On-site parking is $4.