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.

Henry Becerra / Unsplash
Henry Becerra / Unsplash

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.

In 2022, the fair celebrates 204 years!  The 2022 fair will run from August 11th through August 20th.

2023 Maine Agricultural Fair & Festival Dates

Even though it may not seem it, Maine fair and festival season is just around the corner. According to the Maine Fairs website, these are the proposed dates for some of Maine's biggest fairs and festivals. If there is an event that we missed that you believe should be on our list, please let us know by sending us a message through our app.

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