HARMONY — Going once. Going twice.

Sold — a peanut butter pie at the Harmony Free Fair.

That will be the call at 4 p.m. Saturday from seasoned auctioneers Glen and Rosie Carlow of Harmony, who have been auctioning homemade pies at the fair since 1991 and have been in the auction business for 36 years.

This year’s fair book is dedicated to the couple for their 25 years of engaging chatter that has raised more than $10,000 for the host Patriarch’s Club, a group that supports the community with scholarships, awards, special events and give-aways, including 30 new bikes for kids this year.

“We have anywhere between 30 and 40 pies that we auction every year at the fair,” said Rosie, a school bus driver for 26 years and now a custodian at schools in Fairfield. “Last year the winner had a $31-dollar pie — it was a mince meat pie — and we’ve had them go higher than that before.”

Glen Carlow, 66, a one-time town selectman, whose voice delivers the hypnotic chant of the auctioneer, said one year they sold a pie for $300 at the fair auction. It was a pecan pie.

A lot of people like the peanut butter pies, but apple pies are crowd pleasers, too, along with blueberry and blackberry this time of year, they said.

The Carlows play off the bidders and off of one another as they banter from fair stage in the heart of the midway. Bidders in the crowd can number anywhere from 75 to 150, Glen said. And it’s not just women that make the pies, either, he said. Men do, too.

“Oh, it’s fun, he gets the crowd going and we get laughing,” Rosie said.

One year a father and daughter were each bidding on the same pie for the girl’s mother and Glen knew it — but the father and daughter didn’t.

“They were bidding against each other and didn’t even know it,” Rosie said laughing. “She was in one area and her father was in another area. He tries not to let the other bidder know who’s bidding.”

Rosie said in 1991 Susan Morrison came to them and asked them to hold an auction of antiques, which is the Carlow’s business. They said that kind of auction wouldn’t be good for the fair, but pies — some still warm from the oven — might be a good idea. It was, and a tradition was born. The Carlows also do benefit auctions for six different groups, including the Waterville Boy Scouts and the Athens Family Fun Day.

The 69th annual Harmony Free Fair starts Friday when the midway opens at 5 p.m. As the name suggests, entrance to the fair is free.

Entries have to be made at the Exhibition Hall from 4-7 p.m. Friday. There’s a tractor pull at 7 p.m. and the opening of a singles cribbage tournament, also at 7 p.m.

The fair continues Saturday, Sunday and Monday with lots of live music, food, rides and games, livestock demonstrations and displays and a demolition derby.

There’s a frog jumping contest, a men’s hammer throw and women’s skillet throw contests, arm wrestling competitions, fireworks Sunday night and the big Labor Day Parade at 9:30 a.m. Monday. For more information go to the fair’s Facebook page or their website on the internet.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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