Originally published in Castine Patriot, September 7, 2023
Blue Hill Fair returns for its 132nd year
by Carrie Jeffrey
The 132nd Blue Hill Fair, which took place between August 31 and September 4, enjoyed sunny skies and entertained happy fairgoers for another successful year. According to the fair’s general manager, Erik Fitch, attendance was up from last year.
“The weekend went very well,” said Fitch in a phone call the Tuesday after the fair.
The festivities featured both familiar and new events. The blueberry pie baking and largest pumpkin contests returned along with livestock exhibits, where attendees could view animals such as sheep, pigs and cows. People wandering the Exhibition Hall were able to view the finest locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers, which were all on display. The fair also featured its own museum, with previous years’ posters and pamphlets on display, in addition to an arts and crafts show showcasing the wide talents and mediums of local artists.
The Charlotte’s Web exhibit brought E.B. White’s beloved characters to life for another year, with its very own Wilbur the pig and Templeton the rat. There was even a small Charlotte figurine hanging out in the rafters of the barn, smiling proudly next to her web, which read “some pig.”
Also featured was Timber Tina’s Lumberjack Show, where trained sawyers showed off their chainsaw and axe wielding capabilities to filled bleachers. The locally based show included some historical facts about the lumber industry while still being entertaining for attendees of all ages.
New to the fair was the “Chopped” baking contest. Inspired by the cooking show with the same name, participating contestants were required to bake a unique dish containing the following ingredients: yogurt, zucchini, wild Maine blueberries, oatmeal and honey for bonus points. Up to six other unlisted ingredients were allowed, such as egg, flour and butter.
Entries were judged on appetite appeal, creativity, taste and presentation. A sampling of the baked goods entered included a blueberry cheesecake, zucchini crepes with blueberry creme and muffins.
Fairgoers were able to snack on homemade strawberry and blueberry shortcake, fried foods and freshly squeezed lemonade from among the many food options.
As for post-fair activities, the main focus is to clean up and start preparing for the event’s 133rd year. According to Fitch, it takes just about a week to pack everything up.
“[My favorite part] is seeing families make memories. That is why we do this,” he said.