Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Fair Dancers
These young optimists taught one another how to dance in the rain at the Common Ground Country Fair. English photo.
December 2006

Even with all the challenges the rain brought, the success of this year’s Common Ground Country Fair it proves what the Planning Team (PT) has always known. Content is the reason that Fairgoers come to Common Ground, and that is something the PT should be extremely proud of!

Counting locations that people had pinpointed on the maps at the Fair entrances, 41 states and 75 countries were represented. Of course some people may be living in Maine and consider somewhere else home, but this is still an impressive draw. Our total number of Fairgoers, 46,000, was down, but I know of no other Agricultural Fair that could have had that success given Saturday’s rain.

Speaking of rain: The speakers’ tents, demonstrator tents, livestock barns and Exhibition Hall found Fairgoers lingering. Coordinators spoke of a breathing effect of the rain: It would start to pour, and everyone would find shelter and swell the numbers in the tents and buildings. Then the rain would abate for a bit, and tents and buildings exhaled as everyone ventured outside again. Still very few talks and demos were canceled, and the few that were had mostly to do with outdoor activities. Our Entertainment Coordinator told of a sea of umbrellas moving to the beat in the amphitheater.

On the difficult side, various fairgoers were entering and leaving the parking areas at the same time, causing some jamming in the lots. Generally people stay at the Fair for much of the day, creating an ebb and flow to the traffic, with most entering in the morning and leaving during late afternoon. We’ll be meeting to discuss this problem. I know of no other Agricultural Fair that could have had a gate number of 19,900 in the rain as we did on Saturday.

Don’t forget to put next year’s dates on the calendar now; see you September 21, 22 and 23, 2007!

Barbara Luce
Fair Director