Fair Association brings comedian to Houlton for fundraiser

14 years ago

By Joseph Cyr
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — The Houlton Fair Association will once again be bringing one of the rising stars in comedy to the Millar Civic Center this spring when Ralphie May comes to the Shiretown for a performance Saturday, April 23, 2011.
    “Every year we try to bring a comedian to town,” said event coordinator Paul Cleary, long-time president of the Houlton Fair Association. “We have traditionally done these events in April as a fundraiser to help keep costs down for the Fair.”
    May is the latest in a line of exceptional comedians who have appeared in Houlton over the years. Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known as “Larry the Cable Guy,” was the first to appear in the Shiretown, followed by Bill Engvall, Ron White and Jeff Dunham. The performances by White and Dunham were both sold-out shows.
NE-RalphieMay-dcx-ptshar-47Ralphie May
    “We have been fortunate to have a lot of big name comedians up here, and Ralphie is just the latest in that line,” Cleary said. “I’m sure this performance will be a sell-out as well.”
    May was voted one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch” in 2008 and made his television debut on the first season of “Last Comic Standing” in 2003. He regularly sells out multiple shows in venues holding between 1,500-3,000 seats.
    According to his bio, May was born Feb. 17, 1972 in Chattanooga, Tenn. At the age of 17, he won a contest to open for his childhood idol, Sam Kinison. His other comic influences include Lenny Bruce, Buddy Hackett and Richard Pryor. He has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Tonight Show, with Jay Leno,” to name a few.
    May will perform two shows — 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. — at the Millar Civic Center. A total of 2,500 tickets are available for each performance. Tickets cost $20 for bleachers, $25 for general reserved seats and $30 for premium-reserved seats. The show is intended for mature audiences and 16-and-older is the preferred age range.
    May’s performance will be a fundraiser for the Houlton Fair Association.
    “Despite popular belief, fairs don’t make a lot of money,” Cleary said. “Things like this help keep us going. Shows like this help us do new and different things for the fair each year.”
    Cleary said the comic performances generally draw people from around the state and Canada.
    “The one good thing about our shows is we typically sell out all of the hotels in town and the restaurants are full,” he said. “It’s a big economic boost for the town.”
    Tickets are available in Houlton at Aroostook Milling, Houlton Chamber of Commerce, York’s Bookstore, Andy’s IGA and Dead River (I-95) Food Trend. In Presque Isle, tickets may be purchased at the Dead River Food Trend. Tickets are also available online at www.houltonfair.com. To see some of May’s comedy routines, visit his website at www.ralphiemay.com.