A day at the Windsor Fair - what we saw

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 2:15pm

About this blog:

  • Barnako, wiscasset, Maine Art Gallery

    Frank Barnako is a seasonal resident of Wiscasset at Clarks Point on the Sheepscot River.   His career in journalism included on air and news director positions with CBS and NBC Radio and TV stations.  He was a pioneer in the Internet, helping to create and co-found MarketWatch.com where he also developed a 200-station radio network and wrote daily columns focused on the stock market, business news, and technology. Barnako describes himself as “an aspiring photographer,” whose work can be seen at frankbarnako.com<http://frankbarnako.com>. He is a member of the town’s Investment Advisory Committee. Email him at wiscasset@barnako.com.

The day's program of harness racing was underway.  The p-a announcer was excitedly saying that Nuclear Energy was in the lead. Meanwhile, on the infield of the race track, roadies for the evening's Tom Petty Tribute band were setting up.  Outside the gates, a couple and their daughter, all dressed in black, stood in line for the Tilt-a-Whirl.  I looked at his shoes ... studded rhinestones ... "You're not from around here, are you?" Of course, I'm not, either.

The end of summer means cooler weather. Sunsets come earlier, and county agricultural fairs open. My favorite is the Windsor Fair.  They didn't't have one last year.  This year it's nine days of exhibits, livestock judging, harness racing, 4-H events, free Covid vaccinations, frying pan tosses for the ladies, demolition derbies for the men, and, 'fair food', generally served on a stick. $5 for a hamburger, $10 for a kielbasa.

I was there Saturday night, the most expensive admission the fair charges, $10.  But the entertainment is first rate.  At the race track, the day's program was underway. I like to turn my back and watch folks in the audience.  There's always a group that will get very animated if they've bet on a winner.  "Click!" Goes the camera.

Walking the midway, you get that the fair is for families.  Lines at the more gentle thrill rides are long. In past years, you could try to win a plush toy by popping balloons using an air gun.  This year, no guns.  The same booth this year was hosting a game where you used a string and a hook to try and to make a soda bottle standup.

Of course, there was no fair last year, and they're trying to capitalize on that. Offering posters for the event, "The fair that never was". $20 

In the exhibition hall, you can see that Mainers have a lot of downtime in the winter.  Hundreds of entries in categories including needlepoint, cross stitch, photography, sewing, corn, potatoes, and on and on. Ribbons everywhere ... blue and red and yellow.  The kids are talented.  Outside, more corn.  Corn dogs.  And the 2nd annual fair Cornhole Contest.  47 teams participated.

There are about half a dozen more Maine fairs this month.  Fryberg's is the grandaddy of 'em all, and the biggest. 

Got a comment?  E-mail me.  mail@barnako.com