A beautiful, sunny, 80+ degree day at the Fryeburg Fair, in Fryeburg Maine, with who else but …. the Freyburgs!
First held in 1851, the Fryeburg Fair is Maine’s largest agricultural fair. They had Fried Doug!
We went to several events including the horse pulling, which is one of my favorites. By the end of the contest these enormous draft horses were pulling 10,900 pounds. Three men lead the team of horses out, and they are so ready to go that if they don’t get them hitched to the sled right away the horses take off anyway – with the men flying behind. At one point one of the big horses, apparently frustrated at not being able to go, reared up on his back legs and the crowd went, “ohhhhhhhhh!”. The sheer size and strength of these animals is worth watching.
More big animals … this time a pair of oxen all gussied up for the scooting contest. We didn’t know exactly what that was – we pictured kids “scooting” along on their backsides somehow – but actually a “scoot” is a metal sled that is pulled behind a pair of oxen along a sort of obstacle course. Their owner guides them with only verbal signals and a long stick tapped on their head and shoulders, and they are judged on their accuracy along the course.
The highlight of the fair, at least for us, is the pig scramble. Take ten kids, ages 8-10, and add ten little piglets. Give each child a bag and require them to place a pig in it and close the drawstring. According to the MC, the piglets have been bred for “speed, agility, and squeal.” Sound simple? For 5-10 hilarious minutes, we watched as the kids tried to catch the pigs. We laughed so hard we had tears running down our faces.
There were kids here from almost all the New England states, plus as far away as Florida. One little girl was in a skirt, another had blinking lights in her shoes. Each child has the choice of keeping the piglet (I’ll bet mom and dad are thrilled) or not. If I heard right, this time all the kids wanted to keep their pigs. After all, some of them worked really hard to get it!
The winner was a strapping young boy who proudly showed off his pig-in-a-bag.
Pig heaven! (unfortunately, the piglets grow up to look like this!)
We sampled the apple pie ice cream and the maple cotton candy, and we saw sheep and goats and 4-H kids and all the typical fair stuff. Does autumn in New England get any better than this? I don’t think so.