The Children’s Vegetable Garden Parade turns many heads Sunday as children and adults dressed in colorful costumes and musicians perform while marching through the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity on the event’s final day for 2023. Celeste Mittlehauser, on stilts, leads the parade. David Leaming photo

UNITY — More than 64,100 people flocked to Unity over the weekend for the Common Ground Country Fair, the annual celebration of organic agriculture and rural life.

About 20,500 fairgoers attended Friday, nearly 25,000 on Saturday and some 18,700 on Sunday, the event’s final day for 2023.

The overall attendance figure is down from last year, when about 67,800 attended the fair.

The event, which this year featured more than 1,000 exhibitors and speakers, is put on annually by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, or MOFGA, which hosts the event on 200 acres of fields and forest in Unity.

The fair is held each year when summer turns to fall and is marked by its unique attractions and community-minded focus. Decades-old locomotives whisked attendees by the hundreds to and from the fairgrounds.

The first Common Ground Country Fair was held in 1977 at the Litchfield Fairgrounds. The crowds grew each year and the fair migrated to Windsor before the land was purchased in Unity in 1996.

The first Common Ground fair was held there in 1998. The land also offers a year-round agricultural education center operated by MOFGA.

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