Featured Events

Read more about some of our featured events at the 2023 Fair! 

Sophia Nguyen Eng, a first-generation Vietnamese-American and author of “The Nourishing Asian Kitchen,” left a successful career in Silicon Valley’s growth marketing industry to pursue her passion for sustainable farming and nourishing Asian cuisine. As a devoted homesteader and sought-after speaker, she empowers others with her wealth of knowledge, captivating audiences with insights on the intersection of food, farming and health. With her 5-acre permaculture mini-farm in Tennessee, commitment to regenerative practices, and dedication to the principles of Weston A. Price, Eng embodies resilience, passion and a profound understanding of the nourishing power of Asian food and farming traditions.

Please join Eng for her talks during the Fair. On Friday, September 22 at 10 a.m., she will be presenting “Leaving the Valley for the Mountains: My Story of Starting a Permaculture Mini-Farm” in the DIY #HomeHacks Speakers Tent. Discover the inspiring journey of her family’s transformation, as they transitioned from the high-tech conveniences of modern life in Silicon Valley to embrace the wisdom and simplicity of low-tech Asian farming, reconnecting with the land and fostering sustainable practices in the Appalachian Mountains. 

At 1 p.m. on Friday, September 22, Eng will be teaching “Pho Masterclass: A Flavorful Journey Into the Heart of Vietnamese Cuisine” in the Country Kitchen Demo Tent. In this pho masterclass, Eng will dive into the art of Vietnamese cuisine and unravel the secrets of creating authentic pho, from crafting a rich broth to mastering the perfect balance of flavors and exploring traditional garnishes.

Photo by Kelly Shotwell.

We are thrilled to announce that Noel Paul Stookey, David Mallett and Tim Sample are returning to the Common Ground Country Fair to perform music and humor together on the Amphitheater stage at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 24. David Mallett will also be performing a show earlier in the day at 1:30 p.m. on the Amphitheater stage.

Noel Paul Stookey

Singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey has been altering both the musical and ethical landscape of this country and the world for decades. While acknowledging his history and the meaningful association with Peter and Mary — the trio perhaps best known for its blend of modern folk music and social activism, rallying support for safe energy, peace and civil rights at some of the most iconic events in our history, including the 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King — Stookey has stepped beyond the nostalgia of the folk era. With funds earned from his now-classic “Wedding Song,” Stookey, along with his daughter Liz Stookey Sunde, launched Music To Life, a nonprofit utilizing groundbreaking ways to bring music to life for social change through technology, entertainment, artist collaboration and education.

David Mallett 

David Mallett hails from a small town in northern Maine and, in a career that spans four decades, his music has traveled to all corners of the world. His songs have been recorded by more than 150 artists, including Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, John Denver, Emmylou Harris, even the Muppets, and his “Garden Song” has become an American folk classic. 

He has performed throughout America and Europe. The Bangor Daily News recognized him as one of the 58 most memorable Mainers of the 20th Century and the readers of FOLKWAX (folkwax.com) honored him with both 2003 Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for “Artist in Me.”

Tim Sample 

Tim Sample is a Maine native whose unique New England style of humor has gained him a national following. When introducing Sample on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Charles Gibson referred to him as, “The man who wrote the book, literally, on Maine humor!” Legendary newsman Charles Kuralt has called Sample “Maine’s Humorist Laureate.”

Describing Sample’s work as “humor” rather than “comedy” is, according to fellow Mainer and bestselling novelist Stephen King an important distinction: “He’s a funny guy, you’ll get no argument from me on that score, but no more a comedian than Mark Twain or Artemis Ward. Like, them, Timmy (that’s what I always call him the way folks from up our way are apt to call their friends “dearie”) isn’t acting; he’s just talking in a kind of heightened and gifted way, as folks do when they’re passing on valuable tales about the human condition.”

Kevin Sample photo.

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