LITCHFIELD — Flo Boulder has volunteered at the fair since 1978 and said “family and friends” keeps her coming back each year.

“Seeing people I haven’t seen all year,” Boulder said is the best part of the fair for her.

What makes the Litchfield Fair different from the other Maine agriculture fairs is the small, close-knit family aspect it brings to the community, according to those who continue to run the fair year after year. This year, the fair saw around 13,000 people over the weekend, fair officials said.

The fair’s secretary, Carol Smith, said the fair has about 20 volunteers on a yearly basis, but when the fair season comes into swing, the number rises to about 150 as people round up their families to help out.

Strawberry Queen contestants are escorted around the Litchfield Fair on Sunday during the antique auto parade. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Volunteers scrambled up until Friday to repair the Exhibition Hall that had its floor cave in about four months ago. Smith said when the fair is not going on the hall serves as a storage room where a truck was parked. When a volunteer came into the room, the floor was caved in from groundhogs underneath the structure.

The repair took about four months to fix with the supply chain impacting the time in which fair organizers could receive concrete to fix the hole.


“Everyone came together,” Smith said. “I can’t say enough about the family.”

Smith’s late husband, Richard Smith, was the long-time president of the fair.

Their whole family — their daughter, son and their grandchildren, all helped out during the fair weekend. Smith said her family started being involved with the fair in the 1940s and 1950s, a similar story to how many people originally got involved with the fair.

New to the fair this year is a gold plated sign and gate made by Dick Brown, another community member who has a role in putting the fair on.

“It’s small, but we are trying to keep up with the times,” Smith said. “It’s always what my grandchildren are reminding me.”

Across from the petting zoo, one of the 21 directors of Litchfield Fair, Rayna Leibowitz made applesauce and beans in the old-fashioned kitchen that is set up in the fair museum.


The museum plays a “special role” in the yearly fair event for Leibowitz as her mother, Muriel Berry Bonin created the museum and collected items for it up until the day she died 11 years ago. Leibowitz has served on the board of directors of the fair since 1981 and before that, her mother was elected to the board in 1951 before stepping down after 30 years to run the museum.

“It’s very family orientated,” Leibowitz said of the fair. “I’m the fourth generation in my family to be on the board and we have another on the board that’s third generation and other folks have been doing it for decades.”

As Leibowitz spoke to the Kennebec Journal, her “first cousin once removed” walked by.

“I only see him during the fair,” she said, adding, “There is this feeling of community and homecoming. Everyone who left, they come home for fair weekend to see friends, family, their high school friends. Everyone.”

The crowd reacts to the demolition derby Sunday at the Litchfield Fair. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

The fair had its usual events, like steer and horse pulling, the midway and rides and games for families and children, and the Old McDonald petting zoo was set up with goats, pigs and sheep.

Sunday’s big event was the demolition derby at 10 a.m. where participants drive old cars into a ring and crash into each other. The event was monitored by firefighters and gathered a large crowd of people watching.

Watching for the first time was Ashley West, her husband Nick and their two children. Sunday was the family’s first time at the fair and said they were encouraged to go by Nick’s sister who lives close by. They wanted to attend so their children could see the animals and run around to have fun.

“We figured we could get their energy out,” Nick West joked.

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