The Oldest Fair In Maine (& The Country) Kicks Off On Thursday
Even though we live in a state that is loaded with history, it is still kind of hard to believe that Maine is home to the oldest fair in the entire country. Yes, the Skowhegan State Fair has been around for over two centuries. In 2023, the fair will celebrate 205 years!
The fair has not missed a year! Even though it was nothing like it normally is, the fair still happened in 2020.
The 2023 running of the fair gets kicked off on Thursday, August 10th and it runs through Saturday, August 19th.
Highlights include the midway (filled with rides, games, and food), the demolition derbies (Friday 8/11, Monday 8/14, and Friday 8/18), and the truck pulls.
Check out the entire schedule of events HERE
Original story about the history of the fair follows...
It would be a real challenge to find a Mainer who did not love a fair. Yes, we may be more partial to one particular fair over another, or maybe we love a certain thing about the fair, but we all love a good fair.
Fair season really is one of the best parts of summer (and fall) in Maine!
Even though we all know that Maine has a rich fair history, you probably did not realize that the oldest fair in the nation takes places in the State of Maine.
According to the fair's website, the Skowhegan State Fair has been going strong for over two centuries. The plans for the fair, which back then was organized by the Somerset Central Agricultural Society, were put in motion in late 1818. The first fair was held in January of 1819. Yeah, we thought the idea of having a fair in January was a strange idea, too.
However, according to the website, the colder temperatures and potential for snow did not deter fair-goers
For decades, the event remained a small, community fair. However, after the advent of the motorcar, the fair began to grow. It grew in attendance and in length. It went from lasting for a few days to being spread out over more than a week's time.
In the mid-1900s, the fair began to feature night shows. Over the decades, many well-known entertainers have graced the main stage. These include Tricia Yearwood, Aaron Tippin, Blackhawk, Blake Shelton, Darryl Worley, Tracy Byrd, and Phil Vassar.
Learn more about the fair's history HERE
The Skowhegan State Fair truly is the longest running annual fair. Even the pandemic of 2020 could not stop the fair. While it was a smaller event than it normally is, there was a fair that summer.