The Northern Maine Fair continues throughout the week with rides, events and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. But what is it doing for the local economy? Shawn Cunningham takes a look at the economic impact so far from fair week and finds out if its being FISCALLY FAIR to the region it’s called home for more than 159 years.
Sylvia Dean brought her niece and nephews to visit these goats at the Petting Zoo. It’s KIDS’ DAY at the Northern Maine Fair. The zoo’s a popular attraction with many. One of many ways the lessons of ag life are being introduced to a new generation and hopefully appreciated by all.
“there doesn’t seem that as many people are farming and we need to remember what we used to do years ago and this is a great opportunity to do that and see how they live and grow,” says Dean.
Steven Akeley the Owner of Back Forty Farms adds “its a first rate opportunity to come and see the best and to enjoy the animals and talk to the people who are taking care of those animals those are the farmers.”
Youngsters like Justin Buck depend on this fair to show their animals like cows, sheep and horses. Buck started showing at the tender age of ten. Now sixteen, the fair is more a family reunion than anything else.
“the fair all the people that come here are just like family, you just can’t stay away,” says Buck.
Organizers of the Northern Maine Fair say the fair pumps a great deal of money into the local economy. Those dollars are seen in tourism, food and hospitality and practical costs.
Lynwood Winslow is the Treasurer for the Northern Maine Fair Association ands says “from the 800 thousand dollar business that we bring all the hotels are full, the people that come from the outside the exhibitors they’re filling up their gas tank, they’re buying at the convenience store they’re over at stores loading up their campers to go to the next fair but its certainly a major impact.”
Winslow adds in the last four days the number of people turning out for the fair has been good. He credits that to mainstay events like harness racing, rides and games along the medway and family oriented attractions like the petting zoo. But no event is without challenges. He says conditions like rain always have an aimpact. But even with that Monday night, people still showed up. Overall he says FAIR business IS fair. And some of the smallest fairgoers agree…not letting a little issue like rain GET THEIR GOAT.
SC: Who’s your favorite animal to pet?
BD: I’m thinking the goats…
BD: Because they’re so soft…
“when I pet them they kind of ran off…”
SC: what do they say, what do the goats say..”
BD: “they say baaaah.”