PITTSTON — Steve Welton put the finishing touches on exterior stone facing at the fairground’s new exhibition hall Tuesday.

The East Pittston mason said the job will be finished by Thursday — opening day of the Pittston Fair, the 60-year-old fair that kicks off central Maine’s agricultural fair season.

Peter Weeks, vice president of the fair association, said it took seven weeks for volunteers to build the new hall, often missing supper and working into the night.

“It’s one of the nicest buildings here,” Welton said Tuesday. “This little fair has come a long way the last five or six years.”

Diana Weymouth, in charge of exhibitions in the hall, said volunteers were coming back Tuesday evening to shingle over the front entrance and install the exhibition sign.

She said the fairgrounds needed a new exhibition hall. The old building, which is about 40 years old, is now a museum.

“They’ve done a marvelous job,” Weymouth said about the volunteers who built the hall. “We needed one real bad.”

She said the hall will be the backdrop for a strawberry pie contest, a whoopie pie contest and a children’s chocolate cookie contest.

“We’re going to have a cake walk,” she said. “I’ve got 30 cakes that were donated and it’s only going to cost 25 cents to play. I don’t want to charge too much. It’s all for fun.”

Weeks said the fair will run through Sunday and feature an “impressive midway,” with 16 rides. The Pittston Fair Association hired Kavanaugh Amusements from Canada to do the midway.

“They actually did Gardiner’s waterfront show,” Weeks said. “He said he could fill the space we have and he did. We were looking for big kids rides.”

One of the most popular events is the He-Man & She-Women contest, 6:30 p.m. Friday. Registration is at 5 p.m.

Sharon Fairfield, fair secretary, said entries have to be older than 18 in order to show their might lifting and tossing. Categories include pulp piling, pulp toss, tire flip and a steel drag as fairgoers will vie to be the strongest.

“It’s a men-against-women thing,” Fairfield said. “It’s a strength thing.”

Weeks said Friday night should draw a big crowd because of the He-Man & She-Women event, a “redneck” truck pull, music by Walter Weymouth and the Boys and the fireworks display put on by Steve Marson’s Central Maine Pyrotechnics.

“He said it would be the best display Pittston Fair has ever seen, I promise,” Weeks said. “Friday is also bracelet night, one price and you can ride the rides all night.”

Weymouth said other favorite events is the fry pan toss for women and the horseshoe pitch for men.

“The old things that are always popular is the pig scramble for kids, that’s a hoot to watch,” Weymouth said. “Friday evening it’s the six and seven year olds and Sunday evening the 4- and 5-year-olds.”

There’s also talent shows and a strawberry queen pageant, a kiddy tractor pull and famous bike giveaway. Weeks said he had 80 bikes to give away.

“Everyone loves the bike giveaway,” Weeks said.

The fair’s schedule is at www.pittstonfair.com.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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