A Hereford cow wins a prize at the Union Fair. Courier-Gazette archives

UNION — In the midst of a second year containing cancelled events, the 150th Union Fair is scheduled to occur once again from Aug. 21 to Aug. 28.

There will be some changes to the fair this year, but it has returned to its agricultural and educational roots for 2021.

One of the biggest changes is that there will be no carnival at the midway this year.

Ron Hawes, the president of the Union Fair Trustees, said there will still be plenty of activities and vendors at the fair.

The usual carnival company was not available for the date of the fair, and the Union Fair Trustees were not able to procure a replacement despite their best efforts.

While Hawes said he would miss the rides, he feels confident the fair will still offer something for everyone.

In addition to traditional activities such as livestock shows and auctions, the demolition derby and the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, the trustees added some exciting new events.

Look inside this week’s edition of your local newspaper for a full schedule of fair events.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, there will be the inaugural Union Fair Mud Run, where truck drivers will compete through muddy obstacle courses for a cash prize.

Hawes said the mud run has been a big hit from the word on the street.

The first Blueberry Ambassador will be named Sunday night.

Originally the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen, the fair trustees opened the competition this year to include any high school graduate in the age range.

In previous years, this contest was only open to unmarried young women with no children.

Hawes said there has been some confusion about the decision, but the intention was to open the qualifications and gain more competitors.

“It’s never been a beauty pageant,” Hawes said.

The 1964 State of Maine Wild Blueberry Queen. Courier-Gazette archives.

There will be more live music happening each day at various locations throughout the fair as well.

Hawes said fair patrons should take time to really examine the program and find music to fit their personal tastes.

On Sunday, Wednesday and Friday nights will feature major musical acts at the main stage with a wine and beer garden operated by Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery.

The wine and beer garden will open at 6 p.m. and will serve alcohol for the musical shows, and the Savage Oakes wine pavilion is open every day at the fair.

Country rock group Searsmont Street Band will perform Sunday night, disco group Motor Booty Affair will perform Wednesday and a Grateful Dead tribute band Downeast Dead Band will play Friday.

The price of admission to the fair also decreased for this year. “You can’t buy a better entertainment package,” Hawes said.

Blueberries on display during the Union Fair. Courier-Gazette archives

There will still be plenty of livestock including cows, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, oxen and the poultry barn, according to Hawes.

The 4H activities such as the rabbit show and the horse clinic will also be happening.

Friday is the annual Maine Wild Blueberry Festival Day, with the usual free desserts and contests.

“This day is really focused on promoting the blueberry industry,” Hawes said.

On Saturday, Aug. 21, it will be children’s day, with events like magic and juggling acts, and a balloon artist. The monster truck rides, which were scheduled for this day, have been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

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