Giant pumpkin sets Cumberland County Fair record

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CUMBERLAND — Opening day at the Cumberland County Fair went from a feared washout to a confirmed winner.

Although wet conditions early Sunday morning threatened to keep things quiet, the emergence of the sun as the day progressed brought the crowds in, which made Fair President Mike Timmons pretty happy.

“When that beautiful sun came through we had a great day,” he said Monday, praising events like the demolition derby, and professional bull riding and a rodeo. “It just went very well. What could have been a complete washout … ended up being a very positive day.”

Among Sunday’s events was the pumpkin and squash contest. Edwin Pierpont of Jefferson had the prize pumpkin, which weighed in at 1,196 pounds and beat the record by 66 pounds, according to Carolyn Small, superintendent of the Cumberland Fairgrounds exhibition hall.

The fair, at 197 Blanchard Road, “gives people a chance to see the animals and eat the fair food,” Small said. “Here in the Exhibition Hall we’ve got all the wonderful quilts, and sweaters, and afghans, and all the beautiful handwork. There’s a group of woodcarvers here that does absolutely amazing work.”

The 142nd annual fair runs through Saturday, Sept. 28. Maple Day is Friday, which also features the music of Debbie Meyers on the main stage at 5 p.m. and professional rodeo at the museum area at 6:30 p.m. An antique tractor pull takes place in front of the grandstands, also at 6:30 p.m.

The rodeo runs again Saturday at the museum area at 2 p.m. The Northern Groove Band plays on the main stage at 3:30 p.m. The NPPA Truck Pull takes place in front of the grandstands at 6:30 p.m., followed by the World of Horses Show at the pulling arena at 7 p.m.

Admission is $9 for adults, and children 12 or younger get in for free. Parking is free.

Log on to cumberlandfair.com for a full schedule of events.

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

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Michelle Haddow, right, her niece Lauren, and son Hamish check out the record-breaking first-prize pumpkin Sunday at the Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland.The giant gourd weighed 1,196 pounds, breaking the old mark by 66 pounds. It was grown by Edwin Pierpont of Jefferson.

A bull rider makes an early exit during the rodeo Sunday at the 142nd Cumberland County Fair, which continues through Saturday, Sept. 28.

Isabelle Dunton, of Freeport, gets close to a goat Sunday at the Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland.Livestock owners line up during the “Mother and Daughter Goats” competition Sunday at the Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland.

Andrew Forbes, right, rides the “Rockin’ Tug” with his son Alex, 8, and daughter Maddie, 5, Sunday at the Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland.

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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.