MONMOUTH — Pogo Pogorelc has only missed one Monmouth Fair since moving to Maine in 1979. The same thing has kept her coming back, year after year, since she landed here from the West Coast.

“It’s small. It’s community based,” said Pogorelc, who prefers to go by Pogo. “It’s an old fashioned fair.”

Pogo is the president of this year’s fair, the 103rd edition, which opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

“It’s summer and it’s a fair,” she answered when asked why people should turn out for the fair.

There are, of course, other reasons, particularly if you fancy a good pulling contest. The fair, which is on Academy Road directly across from Monmouth Academy, bills itself as “A little fair with a lotta pull.” Organizers work hard to live up to that motto, scheduling a bounty of horse, oxen and tractor pulling events. There’s even a pedal tractor pull for children who weigh 45 pounds or less beginning at 6 p.m. today. The winner will earn a pedal tractor. Whenever you show up at the fair there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find an animal or a machine pulling something-or-other.

“We have pulling every day,” Pogo said.

Beyond the pulling ring is a plethora of farm animals to be viewed and patted as well as homemade crafts, creations and foods in the exhibition hall. Events also include a number of fair staples, like pig scrambles and hay-tossing contests that will appeal to the entire family, Pogo said. Mad Science of Maine and magician Conjuring Carroll are scheduled for performances Saturday, and bike drawings are scheduled for each night.

“We have some old-fashioned, fun type things,” Pogo said. “We have a carnival and fair food. Does it get any better than that?”

Massachusetts-based Kavanaugh Amusements is returning this year to provide the midway rides. The company, which worked at Monmouth last year, spent last weekend at the Pittston fair, Pogo said. The midway opens at 4 p.m. today and Thursday, and at 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Music will fill the air each night, beginning at 6:30 p.m. tonight and Thursday, and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Country bands Emerald Sky and Sharon Buck & Dixon Road perform tonight and Friday, respectively; the rockabilly band Full Drive takes to the stage Thursday; and classic rock artists Almost There perform Saturday.

Pogo said some of the best entertainment, however, is in between the shows and attractions, in meeting neighbors and the fair’s family atmosphere.

“Part of the fun is not necessarily the contests and shows, but what happens in between with kids playing and helping out,” she said. “It’s the spontaneous stuff.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
[email protected]

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