Travelers love to visit Maine during the late summer and fall when our towns are celebrating the bounty of the land with all sorts of festivals and fairs. One of our favorites is the Common Ground Country Fair, an annual celebration of rural living.
The fair, sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, is held the third weekend after Labor Day at the association’s fairgrounds near Unity. The 2014 version of the fair is scheduled Sept. 19-21. The fair is part county fair, part farm show, part environmental expo and part craft show. The fairgrounds are about 50 miles north of Newcastle Inn. The 70 minute trip takes you through beautiful rolling hills and farmlands.
Every year, the fair hosts hundreds of talks and demonstrations on topics ranging from cooking, crafting and energy efficiency to raising livestock and environmentally friendly lifestyles. These presentations are crucial to the educational mission of the fair. The fair provides an avenue for a broad range of topics relevant to rural living, education, health and wellness, sustainability, public policy and the arts.
As with any fair, there is plenty of music and food, including a farmers market devoted to selling Maine-grown food. Maine products and services also are featured in the Marketplace section of the fair. When you attend the fair you can also learn about folk arts, herbs, composting and recycling, and health and healing.
The fair also features a variety of events and athletic endeavors, including a 5K foot race and the annual Harry S Truman Games, which includes manure pitching and horseshoe pitching.
Common Ground Fair tickets are available in advance online or at the gate. The association encourages people to use alternative transportation to get to the fairgrounds. Options include the GoMaine Rideshare program and shuttle trains run by the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad. Check the availability of a room and schedule your stay at Newcastle Inn.