Well, here we are. One short week away from our 169th birthday. The Springfield Fair – One Big Day, August 31st . Imagine what it was like back in 1851, our first year. Flip phones were still in vogue. Beer cans had pull tabs. Zarex was the drink of choice at most taverns and family farms (C’mon, you have to remember Zarex – a sicky, sweet syrup that your mother added gallons of water to. Kind of poor man’s kool-aid). It was Tom Brady’s rookie season. Ronald Raegan was President – oh if he could only be back with us now! Clay GMC had just opened its doors and socialism was a bad form of government found only in other countries.
Welllll – my memory may not be quite accurate on some of the facts. But I’m sure the big city of Springfield was booming and brimming with anticipation for the first ever Springfield Fair. Although we have very little documented, factual information about our 1st fair, we know that it must have been a success because it has been with us for so long. And we do know that our oldest building, the grandstand, was built in the 1890’s.
The mission of Springfield Fair, and all agricultural fairs, has been to promote agriculture and self-sustainability. This generation and the last don’t see it much any more, but most families had to grow their own food and livestock. They had to make their own clothes and most day to day items in their home. Folks had to treat their sick animals themselves (and often their sick family members). You traded with nearby neighbors and bartered with others to swap services and goods. And agricultural fairs were the main avenue for showing and promoting your goods, products and services.
That was a time when a blue ribbon meant something. Blue ribbon livestock brought more money and prestige to the owners. Blue ribbon canned goods and household items were more valuable as an item to trade or sell. Good pulling horses were valued as an item to trade or sell. Good pulling horses were value and their offspring was worth more money. People took great pride in their wares which were painstakingly presented in the exhibition hall (and still are today. Go see Pamela Uva underneath the grandstand and have her show you around. It is impressive – even 169 year after our inaugural event.
Lectures were given on the merits and various vegetable growing processes. Equipment manufacturers showed their new products as did livestock dealers. The Springfield Fair was a multi-day event that families traveled for days to come to. They came by horse and wagon bringing a tent and supplies to last upwards of a week. The big fairs were held in the fall after the crops were harvested. In many towns the fair was the biggest and most important even of the year – for trade and for entertainment.
Today, if you take a look at our fair you can see the connection to the earlier agricultural fairs. We are still showcasing things that are important to us – although maybe not as vitally important as 100 years ago. We have baking contest, pulling events, livestock shows and an impressive exhibition hall. The ribbons may not be as critical as they once were but they are still a source of pride. So when “Junior” wins 1st place in the bubble gum blowing contest – save the ribbon and give it to him in 50 years. I promise – he’ll smile and remember.
No, we no longer have 4-5 days of events. But we do have one big day. You can see the schedule in another part of the paper or online. We fully intend to provide a day that you can be proud of and have fun at. Now for a couple of housekeeping items: No coolers allowed – please. We will be checking vehicles. If you have a cooler, feel free to park along the road or in our, unmanned, parking field. No outside alcohol – Please. We will be selling beer for the first time (legally the 1st time) and in order for us to do so, we need to keep out all “outside” alcohol. We will be having more kid’s events – which were not put into the printed schedule (my fault – sorry!). We will have the times printed and displayed at 3-4 different areas of the fair.
We will have: a bubble gum blowing contest, gold dust in a sawdust pile, a scavenger hunt, long range basketball shooting competition, football toss, kid’s woodsman’s day events, duck pond (we think), “regular” foul shooting & Oreo cookie stacking.
For the “big boys and girls” we’ll have the local favorites: truck pulls, car show, horse show, professional wrestling and demolition derby – to name a few. The gates open at 8:00 am and will close after the derby – around 9-10 pm. Pricing is fair. On site parking space is ample and only $3. Beer sales, for anyone 21 or older, will be available from noon until close. It will be in an enclosed area with tables and chairs and good viewing of the main events.
We hope to see you all on Saturday, August 31st at the 169th Springfield Fair’s – One Big Day. This is a great opportunity to spend a day with family and friends. Visit, socialize, have a healthy meal or cold beer and maybe place a bet on who wins the pulls or derby.
And please – patronize our wonderful sponsors. They support all things local! For all fayuh information – go to: www.thespringfieldfair.com. Oh yeah - one more thing….. Sean Conlogue will be our announcer this year. It’ll be fun to listen to him.
SPRINGFIELD'S 1 BIG DAY OF FAMILY FUN SCHEDULE!
Gates open to the public
Register for horse show (Horse Show Arena)
Register for Quarter Scale Tractor Pulls (North end of track)
Register Livestock (rabbits & goats -barn area)
Horse Show (Horse Show Arena)
Register For Classic & Antique Car Show (Bandstand Area)
Quarter Scale Tractor Pulls (North End of Track)
Exhibit Hall Opens
Goat Show (Exhibited all day -barn area)
Register for whoopie pie baking contest (exhibit hall) until 11:00am
Register for open pie contest (exhibit hall) until 11:00am
Car Show (Bandstand Area)
Women’s Triathlon (Pulling Arena)
Rabbit Show (Exhibited all day – barn area)
Kid’s Woodsman’s Day Events
Whoopie Pie judging (Exhibit Hall)
Pie Contest Judging (exhibit hall)
Professional Wrestling (Stage Area)
Register for truck pulls (Behind Pavilion)
Truck Pulls (track)
Register for Demo Derby (North end of infield)
We anticipate having beer sales from noon until close.
Concession Foods Available
AdmissionAges 0-5 FREE
Ages 6-12 $6
Ages 13-61 $12
Seniors 62 + over are $10
Bangor Savings Bank
Bloomer Russel and Beaupain
Carl's Auto Parts
Al, Penny, & Tyler
Crane Brother's Farm
Crawford R.A. & Sons,
CW & Lakestreet Real Estate
Dead River Gas
F.A. Peabody Company
Greta 'N Dave's Place
Hannington Bros. Incorporated
HC Haynes Inc.
Houghton Ceder Products
Irland's Rubbish Service
JJ Pizza & Subs
Dr. Derwin Libby
Lincoln Color Center
Lincoln Maine Federal Credit Union
Machias Savings Bank
Madden S.F, Inc
Maine Financial Group
Mike's Auto Repair
Penobscot Valley Hospital
Ritchie, Loren & Liz
Smith's General Store
Stanley, Steve & Lorraine
Steaks 'N Stuff
The Land Company
Thorton Brother's Inc.
Town of Lincoln
Two Rivers Canoe
United Lifestyle Properties of Maine
Ware's Power Equipment & Husqvarna