Fairs on Maine's Summer Calendar
Some of the most exciting and adventurous happenings in Maine this summer will take place at local fairs. Maine fairs typically feature live entertainment, such as concerts, wrestling, boxing, horse racing, horse pulling, 4-H, ‘redneck’ truck pulls, demolition derbies, and others.
Plus, thrilling rides, street food, and food trucks that serve up some of the most delicious local cuisine, cotton candy, and ice cream available.
Below is a highlight of some of the best summer fairs Maine has to offer, most within an hour or two of Bangor, Maine. As a kid, I remember riding to the fair was almost as much fun as the fair itself because we’d always stop for hot dogs and ice cream on the way.
As my dad drove, mom would engage us in conversation about her favorite events at the fair, which got us thinking and talking about ours.
Three of Maine’s most exciting fairs this summer are the Bangor State Fair in Bangor, ME, from 29 July to 2 Aug, the Topsham Fair from 10 to 15 August, and the Blue Hill Fair from 2 through 6 September.
Other fairs in chronological order include:
- Monmouth Fair from 17 to 20 June.
- Houlton Agricultural Fair from 1 to 4 July (expect some fireworks).
- Ossipee Valley Fair from 8 to 11 July.
- Waterford’s World Fair from 16 to 18 July (with a junior firefighter’s competition).
- Pittston Fair from 22 to 25 July.
- Northern Maine Fair from 31 July to 8 August.
- Skowhegan State Fair from 12 to 21 August.
You can also get tickets to the Bangor Classic - Professional Bull Riders, from 23 to 25 July at the Cross Center.
The Bangor State Fair
Grab some fried dough and ride the twister at the Bangor State Fair from 29 July to 2 August at Bass Park. One of the most popular and biggest fairs in Maine, drawing over 50,000 people per year, though officials expect to limit those numbers this year.
Going to the Bangor State Fair was one of the most exciting parts of summer growing up in Maine. I saw my first live Professional Wrestling show there. The Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWF) was back then, and Vince McMahon was a skinny announcer. Many shows and concerts are held in the Cross Center, a 5,800-seat auditorium.
Grab the kids and see the agricultural exhibit, games, and enjoy some thrill rides. Enjoy the evening atmosphere by enjoying live entertainment, jugglers, and ride the Ferris wheel.
The Bangor State Fair YouTube Video
Paradoxician uploaded this to YouTube. It contains footage from the "XPogo Stunt Team and the Grizzly Experience shows."
The Topsham Fair
See some horse racing, highland games, and demolition derby at the Topsham Fair from 5 to 10 August. If you have young children, this is an excellent fair as children under 36 inches get free admission. With plenty of animals to see for the kids, crafts exhibit, and rides, you will be sure to have a great time.
The Skowhegan State Fair
The Skowhegan Fair is another fond memory from when I was a child. Even though it was a long drive from home, that just meant we would stop more often for goodies.
It claims to be ‘the longest running agricultural fairs for consecutive years in the Nation.’ One of the big draws is the harness racing (horses) with a few wagers, I’m sure. Then, of course, are all the regular fair activities to enjoy and bond with family and friends. It's also the second-largest draw in the state behind the Bangor State Fair.
The Blue Hill Fair
The grand finale of summer is the Blue Hill Fair during Labor Day Weekend from 2 through 6 September. It starts with an amazing blueberry pancake breakfast. In case you’re not from around here, that’s how Blue Hill got its name. The hills around the town are covered with wild blueberry bushes.
Kids and adults come from all over Maine to rake blueberry the last two weeks of August, and many spend a lot of the money they earned at the Blue Hill Fair. OK, I spent a lot of my money at the fair.
This is the most fantastic annual fair to visit before the kids head back to school, making your summer complete. This fair brings fun for the entire family with rides, sundaes, fried dough, onion blossom, sheep pull, and Labor Day celebration. Don’t miss this end-of-summer fun in the sun.
My favorite event as a teen was a rope ladder, tied off at the bottom, and the top was tied off to a pole about twelve feet up. All you had to do was climb the ladder and grab the $100 bill at the top. I probably spent that much trying to get it. It never happened.
I watched my older brother get to the top and reach out for the $100 bill, but the ladder dumped him into the hay. He complained about it being a “rip off” all weekend.
Escaping to Bangor, ME, for the State Fair this summer will be a great experience for the entire family. But you should try to take in a few others as well. Not only is Maine known for its spectacular mountains, views, lakes, and beaches, there are plenty of activities to do for everyone in the family.