WINDSOR — Shandra Rubchinuk’s goal for the summer was to beat her teammate’s record at the fry pan toss. On Saturday, in only her second time ever participating in the event, she won the entire competition at the Windsor Fair.

Shandra Rubchinuk wins the Ladies Fry Pan Throwing Contest with a throw of 69 feet and 2 inches Saturday at the Windsor Fairgrounds. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Rubchinuk, who signed up Saturday in the 30 to 45 age group, won her category before topping all age-bracket winners to win the entire contest outright.

The Windsor Fair started on Aug. 27 and has had record-setting attendance, according to organizers Karen and T0m Foster, with around 10,000 attendees each day for an estimated total of 100,000 people by the end of the fair on Monday.

The fair has different events each day and the pan toss is one of the most popular, they said, with 70 participants last year and even more women signed up this year.

The pan toss event at the Windsor Fair is women-only and one of the most popular events at the fair, according to Karen Foster, who runs the fair each year with her husband, Tom Foster. She said the Windsor Fair started hosting the event in 2013 after they traveled to the Fryeburg Fair and saw how popular the event is there.

“It’s just for women,” Karen Foster said. “We figured they bring home the bacon and know how to handle the frying pan.”


Though the pans used for tossing look like typical cast iron pans, only specially crafted steel pans are used for the throwing event. If an actual cast iron pan were used and hit the ground a certain way, the handle could detach from the pan. Karen Foster said the original two pans they bought in 2013 for a total of $200 have held up and are still used in the event.

The pans weigh 2 pounds and each woman gets two throws, with the best toss counted.

Event official Karen Foster talks about tossing technique during a pre-event interview Saturday September 2, 2023 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. (Staff photo by Joe Phelan/Staff Photographer) Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Rubchinuk pan-tossed for the first time at the Monmouth Fair in June. On Saturday, her second time competing, she won at the Windsor Fair with a distance of 69 feet, 2 inches. She gave herself a personal, competitive goal, to beat her Maine Mayhem Women’s Football teammate Maggie Schofield, who regularly participates in pan tosses at fairs across the state and has a leading record for the furthest throw at 72 feet, Rubchinuk said.

The winner of each age group — 18 to 29, 30 to 45, 46 to 64, and 65 and older — participates for the final prize of $50, a ribbon and a tiny skillet. Rubchinuk won the 30 to 45 event with a throw of 75 feet, 4 inches, before taking home the prize in the final heat with her 69 foot, 2 inch toss.

Other participants were Linda Rall and Tyne Turcotte who said the pan toss is their favorite event of the fair and the reason they go to the Windsor Fair. They competed in the 46 to 64 age group.

“This is why (I go),” Turcotte said. “It’s fun, exciting and we wanted to make sure we got here early to sign up.”


First-timer Brianna Fonger said she has attended the fair since she was 4 or 5, but only for the rides, and this year, she wanted to try something new.

“I’ve never participated and I don’t know why I decided to, but figured I would try anything and it looks like fun,” said Fonger, who threw an impressive 57 feet, 7 inches in her first try. She admitted she saw some photos of the event last year and got to the sign-ups early to make sure she made it.

With Rubchinuk as the overall winner, second place went to Cheryl Moon of Jefferson, competing in the 46-64 age bracket, with a distance of 46 feet, 6 inches. She was followed in third place by Zoe Hutchins of Fairfield (18-29) who hurled the pan 42 feet, 10 inches to best fourth-place finisher Donna Finn of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts (65 and older), who recorded a 42 foot, 4 inch throw.

Next up for Rubchinuk is the Deerfield Fair in New Hampshire where she hopes to take home the $500 grand prize.

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