UNION —Union Fair President Matt Elwell announces a multiyear contract has been signed with Smokey’s Greater Shows to bring their midway carnival rides to the 151st annual Union Fair — Maine Wild Blueberry Festival.

This partnership will be the first time Smokey’s Greater Shows has appeared at the Union Fair — Maine Wild Blueberry Festival. Smokey’s will brings rides all ages will enjoy — from toddlers to those young at heart. Some rides have never appeared at the Union Fair. Smokey’s Greater Shows is the only Maine based carnival company that’s been in business for over 60 years. Smokey’s Greater Shows partners with several fairs throughout Maine.

The 151st Union Fair — Maine Wild Blueberry Festival will be two-and-a-half weeks earlier, moving from the third Saturday in August to Wednesday, July 27, to Sunday, July 31. Although the agricultural fair will be shortened from eight days to five, there still will be eight days of events. From Sunday, July 24 to Thursday, July 28, harness racing will occur daily starting at 2 p.m.

After last year’s fair, the Union Fair Trustees started to discuss, and make some tough decisions, in deciding how to improve the fair and make it a better experience for our patrons. The first decision immediately made was to move the fair to July and shorten the dates. This decision was based on several factors, including vendors who found it hard to find staff that could work in their booths for eight full days. Farmers, due to fair scheduling, had to go to several local fairs back-to-back without a break in dates and the carnival company did not have enough time to break down before setting up for the next fair. Finally, the fair itself in recent years has had difficulty finding enough volunteers to fully support an eight day fair, of which three days were on a weekend.

As the newly elected president of the Union Fair, and with help from existing and new members on the Executive Board, we are dedicated to bringing a refreshed fair with new programs to the residents of the Midcoast area and those who are traveling from away.

For general information, announcements on entertainment, events, and our fair schedule, visit UnionFair.org

We can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Union-Fair-The-Maine-Wild-Blueberry-Festival-27249844375 6/.