Planning Your Visit
It is with heavy hearts that we’re writing today to let you know that we have decided not to move forward with an in-person Common Ground Country Fair this year. The ongoing pandemic, rising COVID-19 cases throughout Maine, and valuable feedback from our community have led us to this point. We did not come to this decision easily and know that people will have mixed reactions and emotions, as we all do. So many people have worked very hard to put on a 2021 fair, including countless volunteer hours. We honor the hard work and dedication of all who make the Fair happen each year. In the end, we feel this large-scale community building event should not take place in the current COVID-19 situation.
MOFGA’s mission to support thriving rural communities, includes our commitment to our farmers, food producers, vendors, exhibitors, performing artists and volunteers. Our educational mission continues and we’re actively working through a number of scenarios that will enable us to continue the spirit of Common Ground in a safe way. These include:
- Creating videos of educational content that will be made available at no charge to the public and released during the weekend of the Fair at mofga.org.
- Exploring how we can support vendors and exhibitors through our online store and brick and mortar location in Freeport.
- Determining if we can host smaller events at our campus in Unity to highlight areas of the Fair throughout the fall in a safe manner.
We hope that we will be able to hold a successful in-person Common Ground Country Fair on September 23, 24 and 25, 2022. It will be an all hands on deck planning process that will begin later this fall and we’ll need our full community to make this a reality.
If you’ve already purchased your tickets to the Fair, we’ll be contacting you in the coming week about refunds or transitioning those to a donation to MOFGA.
When we made the decision to move forward in May we hoped that we’d be in a different place with the pandemic based on the information that was available at the time. By working together, we hope that we will all get through this difficult situation. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Fair Admission Fees:
MOFGA provides free admission to the Fair for persons with disabilities. We also provide
free admission for one aid per person with disabilities as well.
The Common Ground Country Fair is located on 250+ acres of fields, woods and hills in rural Maine. Most of the Fair exhibits and activities take place within a 40-acre parcel around the main building. While we make efforts to accommodate fairgoers with mobility challenges, we want people to recognize that there are parts of the property that may be difficult to access for individuals in wheelchairs or who are dependent on canes or walkers. People with such challenges find it helpful to come with assistants who can help them get around.
Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
- Parking – We provide handicapped parking spots in both the North and South Parking Lots.
- Handicapped parking in the North Lot (on the Unity side of MOFGA’s property) is near the ticket gates.
- Handicapped parking in the South Lot (on the Thorndike end of MOFGA’s property) is near the tractor-pulled wagon shuttle, which transports fairgoers to the ticket gates on the south end of the fairgrounds.
- Please note that capacity in the handicapped areas is not without limits.
These areas do fill up on occasion. Our volunteer parking crew monitors the handicapped parking areas continually to fill spaces as they open up. Saturday is generally our busiest day, depending on the weather, so you might consider coming on Friday or Sunday.
Grounds and Walkways – The fairgrounds are expansive. Getting from point A to point B can take some time,especially when there are lots of people walking along with you. It’s a good idea to look at the
fairgrounds map when planning your schedule for the day. There is a paved ring road that encircles The Common, the Exhibition Hall, and several of the main vendor/exhibitor areas of the Fair. This road has a smooth surface and provides access, or at least a vantage point, to most areas of the Fair. This is the only paved surface on the grounds. The majority of the grounds is comprised of either turf or dirt walkways, which we attempt to keep free of rocks and
Restrooms – There are handicapped accessible facilities in the bathrooms in the main building, next to the Exhibition Hall, and in the restrooms on the west side of the fairgrounds near the Poultry Barn. We also have handicapped accessible port-a-potties in several locations around the grounds. See the map in the Fairbook for specific locations.
Assistance – Please note, we do not have carts or wheelchairs available for individual fairgoer use. Members of our
Volunteer Safety Team provide assistance for fairgoers who are in distress.
Service Animals – Dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are welcome on the Fairgrounds.