UNITY — The Common Ground Country Fair opened Friday after a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic and fair-goers were greeted with a packed schedule of events that will run through the weekend.
The popular fair that’s organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association returned for the 46th time to once again celebrate rural living and Maine agriculture.
This year’s schedule has a number of opportunities to listen, learn and shop, and features three keynote talks addressing Wabanaki sovereignty, sustainability and food justice. The talks begin each day at 11 a.m. at The Common, which is at the center of the fairgrounds.
Other attractions include a competition called the Manure Pitch-Off and the Saturday morning Donkey and Mule Show. There will be demonstrations and workshops led by over 1,000 exhibitors, on everything from blacksmithing to composting. Back, too, are the array of booths selling organic farm products, food and locally made crafts. Some booths will offer discussions around ballot and election initiatives, environmental concerns, and civil rights.
The only thing harder than leaving the fair empty-handed may be avoiding the traffic. The fair’s website encourages patrons to be prepared to wait on the roads or in parking lots, and advises fair-goers to perhaps attend when crowds are smaller — on the early side or on Sunday.
There are some changes to how the fair will be run this year. For one, the ticketing system is now electronic to cut waiting times. Also, in a nod to the pandemic, the fairground will feature a more spacious layout, new handwashing stations and added restrooms. Although organizers ask fair-goers to consider wearing a facemask when in the enclosed Exhibition Hall, there are no COVID-19 mandates and attendance will not be limited in any way.
Find the full schedule of events, list of vendors, and how to get your e-ticket at https://www.mofga.org/