Cumberland County Fair organizers hope for good weather, strong turnout

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CUMBERLAND — Mike Timmons is keeping his fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate and the crowds will be voluminous at this year’s Cumberland County Fair.

A fair director and past president who also wears many other hats, Timmons has worked the past year with other organizers to put together the 2010 event.

The fair opens Sunday, Sept. 26, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 2, at the fairgrounds on Blanchard Road.

Rain hit the fair’s two biggest days last year, but this year “we’re planning for the best,” Timmons said. “We’re approximately a million dollar business, and a lot of it is weather-related. The rest of it is how well you can plan.”

While the economy remains a factor, stymieing some people who want to travel, the fair is close to both the Portland and Lewiston areas, he noted.

“It’s fall, it’s been good weather,” Timmons said. “It seems like there’s a good reason to come to the fair, and we’re going to provide that opportunity when they get here.”

Sunday features performances by Don Campbell at noon, Jillian Cardarelli at 3 p.m. and comedian Bob Marley at 6:30 p.m. Weigh-in and judging for the annual pumpkin contest will be at 10 a.m., and the midway will open at 11 a.m. Harness racing will take place at 1:30 p.m., and Jason Bartlett, a Maine native and leading horse driver, will be at the fairgrounds that day.

Make-A-Wish Foundation children and their families are invited to the fair that day to enjoy free rides. Bartlett will sign autographs, and Marley will speak with the kids before his performance.

“We try to do one major (charitable) event to give back to the community,” Timmons said.

People can pay $15 for all rides on Monday, Sept. 27, which is Maine Agriculture Day; the Bob Charest Band is also featured at 6 p.m. The $15 ride promotion continues on Wednesday, which includes return performance by Don Campbell at 7:30 p.m. and Rave X free-style jumping at 6 p.m.

Senior citizens have their day on Tuesday, Sept. 28, when they pay only $2 to get in. The schedule also features the Mac McHale Old Time Radio Gang at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Tony Boffa at 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 30, again features the $15 all-ride deal and the senior discount. The Old Time Radio Gang takes the stage at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., followed by Bobby Reed at 6:30 p.m. and the Hysongs Gospel Group at 7 p.m.

Fair-goers on Friday, Oct. 1, can see horse pulling, pitting the U.S. against Canada, at 7 p.m. Debbie Morin performs at 1 p.m., followed by Debbie Meyers at 5 p.m. Karaoke contest finals will be held at 7 p.m.

The fair wraps up Oct. 2, with a “World of Horses” show at 7 p.m. A truck pull will be held at 6:30 p.m., and the day also features performances by Brian Wardwell at 1 p.m. and Don Campbell at 5 p.m.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

Sidebar Elements

A trotter takes a practice lap Monday, Sept. 20, at the Cumberland Fairgrounds, where the Cumberland County Fair will be held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2.

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.