The 141st annual Union Fair will run Saturday to Saturday, Aug. 21 through 28, at the fairgrounds off Route 17. Agriculture — animals, vegetables, fruits and grains — rule the roost here, but people are performing too, and not just in the demolition derby.

The big Monday night concert on the grandstand this year will be performed by Easton Corbin, and up and coming country music star who is sure to raise some dust on the track. Corbin knew he wanted to be a country singer well before he learned how to play guitar. Born and raised in rural Gilchrist County, Fla., he spent much of his time on his grandparent’s cattle farm after his parents divorced when he was young. He was a member of Future Farmers of America and 4-H and showed cattle at the local livestock fair.

When Corbin was 15-years-old, he began taking guitar lessons from Pee Wee Melton, a local musician who had at one time played on sessions in Nashville. Soon, he was playing lead guitar in a local band. An impromptu audition at a local music store led to a slot on the Suwannee River Jam, a nearby festival that attracts thousands of people and national touring acts. It was not long before he was opening for other national acts when they played the area, including Janie Fricke and Mel McDaniel.

Four years ago, Corbin and his wife moved to Nashville, where Corbin, whose musical influences include George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait and Keith Whitley, found a kindred spirit in producer Carson Chamberlain. The result of their kinship is an over-the-top album that includes cuts from Nashville’s top songwriters including Mark D. Sanders, Wynn Varble, Tony Lane and David Lee, among others.

Like his heroes Strait and Whitley, Corbin is unapologetically country and his recent, and first, No. 1 single “A Little More Country Than That” paints a picture of rural life that speaks to his small town sensibilities. Corbin performs at 8 p.m.; Sidekick, regulars at the Union Masonic Hall country dances, will whet the Monday whistles at 1 and 4 p.m. in the Entertainment Center.

Providing music on the fair’s opening day will be the local Midcoast Community Band, performing 10:30 a.m. in Sherman Park and then marching in the parade; and The Press Gang, a New England/Celtic music duo that has been making the Midcoast rounds of late, who will play 1 and 4 p.m. in the Entertainment Center. On Sunday, Portland alt-country quartet Gunther Brown will perform at 1 and 4 p.m. in the Entertainment Center.

On Tuesday, old-time music faves The Radio Gang will perform at 1 and 4 p.m. at the Entertainment Center. Also a couple of times a day on Tuesday and for the rest of the fair, Union Fair will host the Kent Family Magic Circus and the famous Flying Wallendas.

The music schedule takes a break on Wednesday but gets back into things Thursday, Aug. 26 with Maine’s own Don Campbell Band. Campbell and company will perform twice, at 4 and 7 p.m. on the track by Sherman Park. On Friday, Aug. 27, Downeast Brass will perform at 1 and 4 p.m. in the Entertainment Center.

There is plenty more going on at Union Fair including a carnival midway, pulling contests, swing dance demos, Dock Dogs, pulling contests pig scrambles and the 51st annual Wild Maine Blueberry Festival. For a complete schedule, visit Daily admission is $8, $4 for children 12 to 14 and free for those younger. Admission for those older than 62 is $4 on Tuesday, Senior Citizen Day.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to