Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 1, 2021
Blue Hill Fair is tentatively a go
Awaiting state guidelines
by Eli Forman
Start getting those 4-H exhibits and ferris wheel plans ready—the Blue Hill Fair may be returning to the fairgrounds this summer.
“Right now we’re cautiously optimistic,” said Eric Fitch, the fair’s general manager and vice president of the board of directors.
According to Fitch, the organization is “planning as if there’s going to be a fair” as they await further information on state guidelines for conducting large-scale summer events.
“Planning the fair is a 12-month job,” said Fitch, who expects to have everything ready to go come Labor Day weekend.
Despite that, considerable uncertainty remains as to whether forthcoming state restrictions will make such heavily attended events possible.
According to Fitch, a proposal for holding the Blue Hill Fair and other agricultural fairs across the state has been submitted to the state by the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs.
Once the state reviews the proposal and releases its guidelines, Fitch and the rest of the board of directors will assess them to determine if the expected restrictions make holding the Blue Hull Fair feasible. Fitch also said that they should be receiving the state guidelines in the next couple weeks.
One of the biggest potential issues will be capacity limits.
“If they put us at capacity we’ve got to crunch the numbers,” said Fitch, adding that one potential outcome of capacity restrictions would be canceling grandstand shows, such as the sheep trials.
No matter the extent of the guidelines, “things are going to look different,” said Fitch.
One thing is for certain though: The Blue Hill Fair will be adding a permanent exhibit celebrating the unique history of the fair all the way back to its origins in the late 19th century.
“We’re really steeped in tradition…we know the artifacts are out there,” said Fitch.
Using community-wide donations and items on loan, the organization hopes to present stories and moments throughout Fair’s approximately 130 years of existence, giving visitors a sense of the continuity and important regional heritage of the event.
At the moment, the collection includes numerous historic photos and posters circa 1910, said Fitch. Anyone that has “anything to do with the Blue Hill Fair” is encouraged to either donate or loan their item to the upcoming exhibit.