Sizzling good times at Houlton Fair
HOULTON, Maine — As temperatures soared into the 90s to start the week, the red-hot times were prevalent at this year’s Houlton Agricultural Fair.
Beginning Saturday, the five-day event drew steady crowds over the first two days, according to Fair President Paul Cleary. Cleary said attendance was up over last year, which he credited to the many acts offered throughout the day, as well as to the lower admission price for those who wanted to come to the fair, but not go on any midway rides.
On Saturday, the demolition derby once again drew a large crowd with more than 1,000 people lining the hill to watch multiple rounds of cars and minivans crashing into one another.
The evening had one scary moment when one of the drivers, Jordan Violette, had to be removed from his vehicle after a hard hit. Violette was taken by Houlton Ambulance to Houlton Regional Hospital for evaluation, but returned later in the evening to a thunderous ovation from the audience.
Violette said he had no physical injuries but may have sustained a slight concussion.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said Tuesday. “My car couldn’t move fast enough to avoid the hit.”
Results from the derby were:
Regular Derby — 1, Jeff McGary; 2, Milo Haney; and 3, Tom Hunter.
Compact Demo Derby — 1, Cody Moran; 2, Logan Holmes; and 3, Leonard Wilde.
Fire Department Demo — 1, Oakfield Fire Dept.; and 2, Linneus Fire Dept.
Van Demo Derby — 1, Josh Upton; 2, Travis Bartlett; and 3, Abe Lorom.
Sunday evening saw country music artist John Anderson take center stage, as he performed an acoustic set of hits for an audience of about 2,500 people. It marks the first time in nine years that the fair has hosted a concert as part of its attractions.
The last time a concert was offered was back in 2009 when American Idol finalist and country artist Josh Gracin appeared in Houlton. Other notable artists who performed in Houlton over the years include Survivor, Kentucky Headhunters, Jeff Bates, Jeff Dunham, Larry the Cable Guy, Black Hawk, Joe Diffie, Sawyer Brown, Gary Allen and Lorrie Morgan.
Maria Melville Dubois, an alum of Houlton High School who now lives in Limestone, made the trip down to Houlton to take in the show Sunday evening and gave it glowing reviews. “Wonderful show! I have always loved John Anderson,” she said. “I only wished he had played a little longer. He has an amazing voice.”
Michelle Lee Austin of Houlton added, “(It) was a great show! Both Ted and The Boys and John Anderson were great!”
Denise Campbell of Linneus agreed. “I thought he was excellent,” she said. “I thought he sounded every bit as good as he did back in the 1980s.”
The fair continues through Wednesday, July 4.