Tickets are on sale now for the 47th annual Common Ground Country Fair at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity, Maine. The fair, the premier event of MOFGA, will take place on September 22, 23 and 24.
MOFGA’s annual celebration of rural living offers something for everyone. This year, MOFGA is excited to welcome 17 new food vendors into its diverse food areas — for a total of 50 food vendors! MOFGA is also looking forward to a new yoga tent, the return of the big-top fine art and craft tent, and the ever-popular bean hole beans being dished up in the #DIY HomeHacks Area. These are offered in addition to the incredible educational opportunities, food and marketplace exhibitors fairgoers know and love. Some of the 2023 highlights include:
- Hundreds of exhibitors and activities centered around sustainable living, from fiber arts to green building.
- Live music including Noel Paul Stookey, David Mallett, Tim Sample, Mehuman, Hambone, Sara Trunzo and the Waterville Senior High School Orchestra.
- Children’s activities including the garden parade, hay jump, making corn dolls, shaking cream into butter, making flatbreads and more.
- Two farmers’ markets featuring organic foods from around Maine, plus local, organic fair food offerings!
- This year’s iconic fair design by Maine artist Rebekah Lowell featured on posters, T-shirts, bags and more to commemorate the event.
- An exciting lineup of keynote speakers including Ryan Parker, a board member for Full Plates Full Potential and the Maine School Garden Network, a leadership council member for Maine Farm to Institution, and a cofounder of the Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute; Chief Clarissa Sabattis, Tribal Chief of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians; and Jaclyn (Jac) Wypler, a farmer mental health advocate with Cultivemos (also known as the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Northeast).
“Soon the tents will be going up at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center and the peaceful grounds will be transformed into acres of vibrant food vendors, exhibitors, interesting speakers, activities and music for you to explore. We are thankful to have 520 exhibitors, 630 educational talks, and over 80 local music events to share with you this year. We hope you will join us. If you can, please volunteer. Volunteers make the fair possible and their enthusiasm and care create the welcoming Common Ground atmosphere that we all crave and look forward to each year,” says April Boucher, the fair’s director.
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, which doubles as the fairgrounds, includes a sustainably managed woodlot, the Maine Heritage Orchard and organic demonstration gardens. This landscape provides an ideal backdrop for demonstrations on low-impact forestry, organic farming and gardening, livestock management and other aspects of rural living to take place during the three days of the fair.
Advance tickets for the event will be on sale August 1 through September 20, 2023, at MOFGA’s website. Fairgoers will receive their tickets via email, and can download them to a smart phone or print them out to be scanned at the gate. Fairgoers who do not have access to the internet may purchase tickets at The Maine Organic Marketplace in Freeport, Maine. Starting on September 21, tickets are full price through the event.
Advance pricing, available until September 21, is as follows: $15 for adults (18-64); $12 for elders (65+); $12 for youth (13-17); free for children (12 and under); and free for persons with disabilities and one attending person. School groups are free on Friday, September 22. Volunteers receive free admission for the day of their four-hour volunteer shift, plus an iconic Common Ground Country Fair T-shirt and other benefits. MOFGA members receive complimentary Fair tickets based on membership level. For information and tips about attending the fair, click here.