News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 5, 2013
Annual Blue Hill Fair entertains thousands despite some soggy conditions

The Midway at Blue Hill Fair 2013

Whether it was the giant slide, the Ferris wheel or the merry-go-round, fair goers of all ages kept the Midway busy at the Blue Hill Fair. Throw in game booths and traditional fair food—from cheese fries to fried dough to bacon-wrapped hotdogs—and the Midway stayed hopping, even through the rain on Labor Day.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Faith DeAmbrose

To see more photos, click here to see the slideshow.

While most of the annual Blue Hill Fair went off without a hitch, it was Monday’s weather that ended up having the most impact over the course of the Labor Day weekend event. The on-and-off torrential downpours on Monday kept many from braving the outdoor event, and also prevented the headline act, the Night of Destruction Monster Truck Show, from taking place.

Attendance remained steady and on par with years past on Thursday through Sunday, but fell substantially on Monday due to rain. It is too soon to know just how many folks attended the fair, but estimates from previous years show around 30,000-35,000 people typically come through the gates each year.

Other than the weather, the fair was successful by all measures, said Superintendent Rob Eaton on Tuesday, September 3. “The crowds were great and there were absolutely no issues along the way,” he said.

Adding that people in Maine are “pretty resilient,” Eaton said that he debated pulling the plug on the entire day Monday, but it kept looking as if it might clear—at least for a little bit—so he kept holding out hope that the rain would clear for the monster truck show. Eventually, a late day check of the weather forecast showed more heavy rain to come, so around 4:30 the show was cancelled. Those still at the fairgrounds made the most of the day, enjoying a fairgoer’s second favorite activity: eating.

All other activities and events went on as scheduled during the weekend, with the FMX motorbikes stealing the show on Saturday, the Beef Cook-off crowned winner Peggy Wood of Penobscot…for the third year in a row (see related story), and after a coin toss, Trudi Clark (formerly of Deer Isle) emerged as winner of the Blue Hill Fair Idol contest. Cathy Lloyd of Surry took first place in the “cougar” division of the perennial fair favorite, the women’s skillet toss competition, on Sunday with a throw of 44.1 feet. Other winners included Stacey Connor of Dedham (57.9’) and Claudine Lurvey (48.2’) with first and second in the “kitten” division, and second place in the cougar division went to Deb Keef of Casco.

Boyd Stevens' tractor at the Blue Hill Fair 2013

Boyd Stevens participates in the Maine Antique Tractor Club’s tractor pull at the Blue Hill Fair on Friday, August 30.

Photo by Jessica Brophy
The harness races drew a crowd to the grandstand at the Blue Hill Fair 2013

The harness races drew a crowd to the grandstand at the Blue Hill Fair on August 31. With the George Stevens Academy band performing between races, drivers hitched up race their horses to win glory and donated prizes.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Ryan Annis performs in the Blue Hill Fair Idol 2013

Runner up Ryan Annis, of Prospect, sings Elvis in the Blue Hill Fair Idol finals on Monday, September 3.

Photo by Anne Berleant
The Maine Lumberjack Show at the Blue Hill Fair 2013

The Maine Lumberjack Show gave an awesome display of log-sawing, axe throwing, log rolling and chain saw art.

Photo by Jeremiah Savage
The Midway at Blue Hill Fair 2013

Whether it was the giant slide, the Ferris wheel or the merry-go-round, fair goers of all ages kept the Midway busy at the Blue Hill Fair. Throw in game booths and traditional fair food—from cheese fries to fried dough to bacon-wrapped hotdogs—and the Midway stayed hopping, even through the rain on Labor Day.

Photo by Anne Berleant
The harness races at the Blue Hill Fair 2013

The harness races drew a crowd to the grandstand at the Blue Hill Fair on August 31. With the George Stevens Academy band performing between races, drivers hitched up race their horses to win glory and donated prizes.

Photo by Anne Berleant
Trudi Clark performs at Blue Hill Fair Idol Contest 2013

Trudi Clark, a former Deer Isle resident and past winner of the Blue Hill Fair Idol Contest, performs “Famous in a Small Town” by Miranda Lambert in the finals on Monday, September 2.

Photo by Anne Berleant