Topsham Fairgrounds to raze the grandstand roof

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TOPSHAM — Soon after the sounds of the annual fair die down this week, the bustle of construction will follow.

Replacement of the Topsham Fairgrounds’ grandstand roof is scheduled to begin in mid-September and wrap up in December. The deadline for contractors to submt bids is Friday, Aug. 10, with the Board of Selectmen due to choose one next month.

The roof was last replaced in the 1980s, according to Marilyn Hunter, the fair’s director of entertainment and marketing. There are gaps in the shingles, allowing daylight to penetrate, Assistant Planner Carol Eyerman said Monday. 

The board on June 21 approved using a nearly $25,000 federal Historic Preservation Fund Certified Local Government grant to pay for much of the work. The town applied to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission; confirmation of the funding came last month.

With the total project to cost about $56,000, the balance will be funded through volunteer in-kind donations of time and money by the Sagadahoc Agricultural & Horticultural Society, which owns the Fairgrounds. Town staff will also donate a small portion of in-kind time for program coordination, record maintenance, and production of signs that credit the government for the grant.

The grant terms require the project to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019.

The 164th annual Topsham Fair runs a through Sunday, Aug. 12, offering three demolition derbies, harness racing, tractor pulls and mud runs, the Miss Topsham Fair Pageant and a variety of on-stage entertainment.

Log onto for a full schedule. The fairgrounds are off the Route 196 Coastal Connector.

The $12-per-day admission includes rides, events and parking, while children shorter than 3 feet tall get in for free. Children of military families are admitted at half price on Sunday.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The grandstand roof at the Topsham Fairgrounds is due to be replaced this fall.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.