SKOWHEGAN — Live music, new sponsors and new faces are set Saturday for one of the region’s longest running winter get-togethers — the Fun and Business Fair.

The FAB Fair, sponsored by the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce, runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Skowhegan Area High School. More than 50 booths representing area businesses, crafters, organizations and nonprofit groups will set up in a long string of tables from the school gymnasium into the school lobby and all along the office corridor to the school cafeteria, Chamber Executive Director Cory King said.

“It’s important to find out what’s happening in your area, what businesses that there are,” King said of the fair Wednesday. “I think it’s a nice way to get out when it’s a cold winter and have something to do, somewhere to go, and a way for people to catch up with friends and maybe to find the perfect gift for someone.”

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 blues. 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.

The Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce took it over in 2004 and never looked back.

Officers of the Community Action Group had no problem with the chamber taking over the fair, though they changed the name in case the group wanted to use it in the future. It’s been the FAB Fair ever since.

King said a planned 4-Hour Play Festival and performances, which had been advertised for the FAB Fair this year, had to be canceled because of lack of entries. He said the play festival, in which participants were to be given scripts and have four hours to rehearse and perform, will resurface at later community events. King said the Maine Drama Festival is scheduled to occur in a couple of weeks, so the timing was bad for the inaugural event at the FAB Fair.

Admission to the fair is free and includes a free door prize and bingo cards on which visitors mark each booth they visit to fill the card or get straight bingo lines to be eligible for a $100 prize. There also will be more than 50 raffle prizes and a 50/50 challenge.

New to the fair this year are six sponsors. In previous years, the annual event was lucky to get two or three sponsors, King said.

“People are finding value in the FAB Fair,” he said.

Local artisans are encouraged to work on their crafts while they are set up at their booths to show visitors how things are made and how things are done, King said. Boy Scouts will run the concession stand. Musician John Tercyak is scheduled to perform live on the guitar.

Skowhegan police Officer Tim Williams and his wife, Kate Mantor, will demonstrate their personal training business — TK Fitness — King said.

“We usually get between 300 to 500 people attending, depending on the weather and other things,” King said. “In a very odd twist of fate, the worse the weather, the better the turnout.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting a 60 percent chance of snow and rain on Saturday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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