Three weeks to go and we’ll be enjoying sunny weather and cooling breezes – out in the big city – Springfield. This will be the 171st anniversary of our world famous fair. It all started in 1851, back when Stuart Smith was just a young fella. Folks travelled by buckboard to spend 4-5 days at the fair. Roads were rutted and rocky. It was harvest season and the rest of the firewood needed to be put up.
Yet still, everyone in the region came to the Springfield Fair. No electronics (must have been nice!). No automobiles. No paved roads. Folks simply loaded the wagon with kids, grandparents, the family dog and their prized homemade goodies – ready for competition. Many also hitched a cow, prize pig, goat or their best draft horse to the wagon, hoping to win a blue ribbon. It was fun for everyone. Pennies (literally kids – actual pennies) were saved year round so sugary treats could be consumed and carnival games could be played.
The exhibition hall was packed with lovingly made items to be judged by a stern, old task master. Ribbons and generous cash prizes were awarded to a fortunate few. All items were beautifully displayed for the entire run of the fair. This was a time in history where blue ribbons held more meaning – and value. Anyone capable of making blue ribbon quality goods, or raising blue ribbon animals, not only won cash at the fair – they were able to sell their goods at a higher price. Not to mention regional bragging rights.
Try to imagine Bruce Thornton winning a blue ribbon for his pure bred chocolate lab and then not bragging about it. Sherri, Lisa and all the other poor girls out to Smith’s would never hear the end of it. It would give ole Clyde one more excuse to flirt. I can see him now, ambling in – buying a can of dip – cracking a cold drink and looking off in the distance, with a tear in his eye, recalling how “Junior” had won his first blue ribbon. Kinda gets me choked up just thinking about it. I’m sure you feel the same….
As we stroll towards Labor Day Weekend – please try and support the ole fayuh in whatever way you can. Bring a few items to exhibit in the exhibition hall. Throw the kids in the wagon and head on over. It’ll be fun. I promise. The demolition derby is set for Friday night, Sept. 3rd. Saturday is a full day of fun stuff. We have the antique tractor pulls, car show, professional wrastlin’ and the truck pulls. Also on Saturday, we have a pile of fun events for kids to take part in. When kids (1-18) enter the grounds, on Saturday, they’ll be handed a score card. If they participate in a certain number of events, they’ll get a free ice cream – plus their name will be entered to win $100 cash. We have 2 age groups: 1-10 and 11-18. Each group will have a $100 winner. Names to be drawn at 3 p.m.
Our schedule of events is being completed, as you read this, by the good people at the Lincoln News. It will be in local stores and available on our website (www.thespringfieldfair.com) soon. Demolition Derby applications are also available on our website.
Our barn area will be full – including a herd of alpacas with 3 babies. We have a number of draft horse demonstrations scheduled with Steve Akeley and our riding horse show. We’d love to fill our stalls with horses and riders. The younger kids can “dig for gold” in our gold dust area in the barns. While they wait their turn they can have their face painted. Pamela will be slaving away in the exhibit hall. Judy will be selling shirts in the log cabin. Janna will be coordinating events. Lindsay will be judging our goodies. Our Machias Savings Bank ladies will be “manning” the gate. Marty will be flirting with nearly every breathing female and Bruce will be …. Well, he’ll be Bruce, doing about whatever needs to be done.
So folks, let’s try to forget about our political differences and come to the 171st Springfield Fair: Guaranteed fun for everyone. Come spend two days with family and friends at the Springfield Fair.