Fair gates open Thursday, July 2, Houlton to buzz with activity

15 years ago

  HOULTON, Maine — Before the skies light up Saturday with some of the best fireworks in northern Maine for the Fourth of July, the 2009 Houlton Agricultural Fair will kick off tomorrow morning when the gates open with its premiere events. Even though Thursday is tagged “Kids Day,” parents and other adults are sure to enjoy a long list of activities from the horse show and the Elvis Extravaganza, to the midway with rides, carnival games and food. Just looking at the schedule is fun. There’s grabbing for money in a cash cube, karaoke, pig scrambles, drag racing and several contests. Children can test their skills at hula hoop, stacking Oreo cookies and blowing bubble gum. That’s just a partial rundown for starters, tomorrow.
Friday, while more fair events continue, there will be something brand new in the downtown area – The Houlton Community Market. Local vendors will sell fresh locally-grown food, freshly baked goods and handicrafts from 8 a.m. – noon on Broadway.
Around 6 p.m. Friday, residents and visitors will find plenty of special sales, food and fun in Market Square and the surrounding areas as far as the outer reaches of North Street. An annual favorite in downtown Houlton and the environs is “Midnight Madness.” It has a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme this time around to roll in those lazy, hazy days of summer. However, many merchants plan to jump on board with “Midday Madness” and some will even get started with their version of  “Morning Madness.”
It’s a retail event with special prices and sales throughout Friday night that should have a particularly festive atmosphere. The Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce is warning all “mateys” to come dressed like a pirate or “ye may walk the plank!”
The excitement on the fairgrounds Friday will be capped off that night with a concert starring American Idol finalist and top-selling country artist Josh Gracin at 7:30 p.m.
The fair runs until Sunday evening, July 5 in Community Park with plenty of  exhibits, games, rides,  food, contests and cash prizes totaling $10,000. For a complete schedule of events, see the special section.