It would be a real challenge to find a Mainer who did not love a fair.

Yes, we may like one fair a little more than another, or we may be a little particular about what we like about our fairs, but we all love going to them.

Fair season is really one of the best parts of summer (and fall) in Maine!

Even though we all know that Maine has a rich fair history, you probably did not realize that the oldest fair in the nation is in the state of Maine.

According to the fair's website, the Skowhegan State Fair has been going strong for over two centuries.  The plans for the fair (which was organized by the Somerset Central Agricultural Society at the time), were put in motion in late 1818.  The first fair was held in January of 1819.  Yeah, we thought the idea of having a fair in January was a strange idea too.

However, according to the website, the colder temperatures and potential for snow did not deter fair-goers.

For decades, the event remained a small community fair.  However, after the advent of the motorcar, the fair began to grow.  It grew in attendance and length.  It went from lasting for a few days to being spread out over more than a week's time.

Henry Becerra / Unsplash
Henry Becerra / Unsplash

In the mid-1900s, the fair began to feature night shows.  Over the decades, many well-known entertainers have graced the main stage, including Tricia Yearwood, Aaron Tippin, Blackhawk, Blake Shelton, Darryl Worley, Tracy Byrd, and Phil Vassar.

Learn more about the fair's history HERE.

The Skowhegan State Fair truly is the longest-running annual fair.  Even the pandemic of 2020 could not stop the fair.  While it was a smaller event than it normally is, there was a fair that summer.

2024 Maine Agricultural Fair & Festival Dates

According to the Maine Fairs website, these are the proposed dates for some of Maine's biggest fairs and festivals. If there is an event that we missed that you believe should be on our list, or if we got something wrong, please let us know by sending an email to

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