SKOWHEGAN — After 37 years as Skowhegan’s original “cabin fever reliever,” and nearly being discontinued a decade ago, the Fun And Business Fair — the FAB Fair — on Saturday will celebrate 10 years of operation by the Chamber of Commerce.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., is free and a perfect time to get out of the house — rain, snow, sleet or shine — said Chamber Executive Director Cory King.
By Wednesday afternoon, King said 50 businesses had signed up for booths at the fair, which is being held at Skowhegan Area High School, including self-defense demonstrations by Damsel in Defense and massage therapy demonstrations by Blue Ridge Massage.
“We’ve got some really cool stuff,” King said. “The fair is a time for businesses to get their face out there and meet people in the community. I think this winter has been harsh enough for us to enjoy some time just getting together and going out and meeting somebody.”
The fair was started by the Skowhegan Community Action Group in 1977 as the Getting To Know You Fair, a cure for the mid-winter blahs. In its early days the fair drew hundreds of visitors, but numbers dwindled and it was announced in 2003 that it would be the last one.
That’s when the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce stepped in and took it over in 2004.
“Participation was decreasing and group members were much older,” said Skowhegan lawyer John Youney, who parents were among the original action group members. “Attendance had dropped off.”
Officers of the Community Action Group had no problem with the chamber taking over the fair, though they insisted that the name be changed in case the group wanted to use the name in the future. The FAB Fair has been in business ever since.
At this year’s fair, Midge’s Theater Arts children’s group will present two live performances at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Katie Quinn will sell her Ass Over Teakettle Bloody Mary mix for the first time to the public. Showcase Trophies, a new member of the chamber, also will be on hand.
There will be a 50/50 raffle, the FAB Fair luck of the draw auction at 2 p.m. and the Chamber bingo door prize game, with the winner getting a seven-inch Netbook.
The chamber also will showcase whittled replicas of the Skowhegan Indian sculpture by Sharon Kimball.
Small statues will be sold for $5 and orders will be taken for larger statues, according to King. The chamber also will have Indian T-shirts on sale. Proceeds for both will benefit the Skowhegan Indian Restoration project.