The Plan is September 4th & 5th | Family Fun Over Labor Day Weekend.
Here I sit brokenhearted, tried to ….. write and barely started…. (I have heard that other great authors have substituted different words into this little ditty…). June 8th, 2020. Wearing my mask (the ole lady says it mitigates breath issues) and attempting to social distance. Waiting for some consistent directives from Augusta and wondering if our little fair will be allowed to operate this year. While noting that about half of Maine’s agricultural fairs have decided to wait until 2021 to open. This would be a strange world that we are living in.
I guess it’s time for me to scratch out a disclaimer. If, for any reason, I offend anyone about anything, please know that it wasn’t intentional (unless of course it was). I am simply rambling on while trying to offer an update on the fayuh and perhaps injecting a bit of humor (or not) into your daily life. After all, we have been strangely limited, these past three months, with what we are allowed to do.
From day to day we wait for the coronavirus count to slow. I try to understand what we are and aren’t allowed to do, wondering if the 170th Springfield Fair will really happen. For what it’s worth – we still plan on opening our gates for a 1 ½ day corker of a fair. We do understand that many of you are concerned, rightfully so, that if we do operate – it may lead to someone new contracting the virus. All joking aside – we do not want anyone else to get sick. As much as it sometimes goes against my inclination – we will follow directives from the State. Because of the possible timing of when the State may fully “open up” – we are forced to guess and hope that things will continue to get better. As of this writing, my understanding is that, if all goes well, we could be “re-opened” by September 1st. A difficult date for us. We are hoping to have our gates open on Friday, Sept. 4th for a regional music act and our demolition derby. The next day, Sept. 5th, we would be open from 8:00 am until between 7-9 pm. Here is our major concern.
We are unable to sign contracts with any entertainer or vendor because we don’t know if we’ll be able to honor them. So, as of today, we have a wonderful slate of entertainment tentatively set up for a great 1 ½ day 170th Springfield Fair. We are planning on waiting as long as possible before we either announce that we will be open or we will be forced to cancel. It is our hope and intention to hold our fair. But folks, you need to know that it will not be our call – the State has the ability to completely shut us down, if they feel that that is the responsible route. With that being said, I am comfortable waiting until August 1st before announcing anything. And it is possible that we could wait until Sept. 1st to announce.
Either way, we will not be able to print posters or schedules nor will we be able to do any newspaper, radio or TV advertising. We would need to rely, almost exclusively on social media and word of mouth. Not my strength. My cell phone weighs 8 pounds and has a rotary dial.
Even with the mess that our world is in – we are trying to bring some good, down home fun to our area. Pending the State’s determination on being open or not – we will have an expanded fun schedule of stuff for the kids, antique tractor pulls, horse show, truck pulls, a good livestock area (sorry about last year – we dropped the ball), livestock demonstrations, car show, lots of games and great (low cal) fair food. And many more fun things for all to enjoy. Friday night will be a fun and relaxing 3-4 hours of music and demo derby. If we feel, on August 1st, that we will be able to open – we will post a schedule of events on our website and Facebook. But remember, we may not know for certain until Sept. 1st. Or, it’s possible that we won’t know until a later date. We’ll do our best while thanking you for your patience and understanding.
Next up. We are still also working to put together a free concert on one of the last two Saturdays in September. We have had an extremely generous (and anonymous) offer to foot the bill as a way of saying thank you to all of our “local folks” on how well they have come through this pandemic. And also, because this person has watched our efforts to rebuild and maintain the Springfield Fair these last 30 years, he wanted for us to be able to put on a show without the fear of losing lots of money. Whew! I’ll let you know as soon as we have a signed contract or not.
With regards to the fair being sold. Yes, we are trying to sell it. After 30 years of ownership I am getting tired. I love the fair and this incredible part of Maine. For all of us who have lived most of our life in Northern Maine – the Springfield Fair is an institution. We want it to continue for another 170+ years and we hope to find the right person or group who has the ability to help it survive, thrive and grow.
I do not know what our gate fees will be. Because of the pandemic and so much turmoil with the economy, we will be unable to solicit sponsorship help. We will be as reasonable as possible but hope that you will bear with us and continue to support our efforts. Thank you for a great 30 years – we are excited to bring our little fair to you far into the foreseeable future. Be well, Keep an eye on our website – www.thespringfieldfair.com and look for us on Facebook.