Dylan Farrington, 13, of Jay, right, gives a thumbs-up after his team hauled 550 pounds during a pulling competition at the Pittston Fair in 2021. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

PITTSTON — Concerns about avian flu are not expected to impact the 70th Pittston Fair, which will not be displaying poultry or featuring birds at its petting zoo.

The Maine Department of Agriculture sent an advisory recently about avian flu, and advised those who organize fairs that feature birds to postpone or cancel such events through the end of July.

The time frame is 30 days from when the last suspected case of avian flu was reported in Maine, which was June 28 in Augusta.

Avian flu is an infectious variety of influenza that spreads among birds. In certain cases, it can affect humans.

Kim Alley-Pelletier, a member of the Pittston Fair Association, said the fair will not be impacted because poultry and other birds will not be featured.

New this year is Our Little Farm, a petting zoo that is to feature farm animals which children can interact with. Last year, the fair had an outside barn where children and fairgoers could see the animals, but this year is the first time people will be able to pet the animals.


Alley-Pelletier said the fair is to include the usual farm animals, including rabbits, sheep and pigs.

She said the fair, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, is a community effort with events every day.

The Pittston Fair is part of the Maine Association of Agriculture Fairs and one of many summer fairs the state offers.

“It all comes together the way it’s supposed to,” Alley-Pelletier said. “I think we are lucky to have the people in the community that we do.”

Alley-Pelletier and her team has worked for the past year putting together events for the fair. She said she expects a large turnout this year, like at other fairs this summer and because the fair went well a year ago.

“Last year, we had record numbers,” she said, “and this year, we are expecting them again.”


The fair is to include the usual attractions, such as the popular horse pull and the Strawberry Pageant, in which participants between ages 5 and 20 compete for the roles of blossom, princess and queen.

The horse pull is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with the smaller weight — 3,100 pounds — Friday and the heavier weight — 3,400 pounds — Saturday.

The pageant is scheduled to close out the fair at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The pig scramble is not a new event, but this year all children who catch a pig will win $30.

Organizers have planned special appearances, including a meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. Friday with Maine Cabin Master‘s  Jared “Jedi” Baker, who grew up in Pittston. Another Pittston local, singer-songwriter Walter Weymouth, is set to take the stage at 6 p.m. Friday.

The fair opens at 8 a.m. Thursday and ends at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The celebration of the fair’s 70th edition is to include a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. Friday.

A full listing of events is available at the fair’s website — www.pittstonfair.com/fair-events.

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