Serafin Leon holds a horse for the merry-go-round as crews from Fiesta Shows set up for the 201st annual Skowhegan State Fair in August 2019. After offering a scaled-down version of the fair last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers say a “full-scale” fair is planned for this summer at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

SKOWHEGAN — After a downscaled event last year, organizers have announced a “full-scale” Skowhegan State Fair is planned for this summer. 

Organizers announced earlier this week they “have been meeting and discussing our plans for 2021,” and, with Gov. Janet Mill’s latest reopening plan and guidelines, are able to move forward with a traditional fair, planned for Aug. 12 to 21. 

“With the Governor’s current reopening plan and guidelines, we are excited to announce we will be moving forward with the 203rd edition of the Skowhegan State Fair,” fair organizers wrote in a Facebook post. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.

The fair has run without interruption since 1818, making it the nation’s oldest, consecutively running agricultural fair, according to organizers.

Thomas Dillon, president of Skowhegan State Fair, said Thursday the typical, full-scale event includes demolition derbies, truck pulls, battles of the band, harness racing, horse pulling, tractor pulling, livestock shows, 4-H shows, exhibits and midway rides and activities.

“As we’re speaking, the event is on, and it will be full scale,” Dillon said. “We’ll just have to work within the COVID-19 guidelines. We’re hoping that these guidelines will be a little more lax when it comes fair time.”

He said signs will be posted with restrictions, and organizers will enforce them “to the best of our ability.”

The fair was held last year in a smaller version that only featured agricultural events, with many virtual presentations for those who could not attend. The fair typically brings thousands to the fairgrounds each summer.

“We basically have to direct traffic and limit how many people can come through, possibly,” Dillon said. “We hope we don’t have to do that, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens over time. We’re hoping the (COVID-19) vaccine does its job so it won’t be necessary to have a lot of restrictions.”

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