Music, favorite events to mark 70th Blossom Fest

7 years ago

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — What better way to celebrate 70 years as northern Maine’s premier summertime celebration than throw an epic party, invite thousands of your friends, and provide dozens of free fun events and live performances?  In 2017, the Maine Potato Blossom Festival will reach its platinum anniversary and planning for this special occasion has been underway for months.

“The Maine Potato Blossom Festival … has been a highlight of the social calendar in the County for generations,” stated Festival Director Tim Goff.  “It continues to amaze me how Fort Fairfield, a town with about 3,500 residents, rallies to host the more than 35,000 people who will descend upon our community for nine days of music, sporting events, pageants, food, fun and of course the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade!  It takes a small army of volunteers to pull it off, but we are happy to roll out the welcome mat and show everyone how we have a good time.”

The festivities will begin Friday, July 7, with the first of five Maine Potato Queen pageants, the pre-teen miss maine potato queen pageant. the first weekend will include chess and horseshoe tournaments and a town-wide yard sale on Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9.

“It’s tough to pick highlights of my favorite events during the week leading up to parade weekend, but the Family Canoe and Kayak Day on Monson Pond and the Household Pet Show on Tuesday are fun ways to bring people together to enjoy different aspects of our community,” said Goff.  

“Wednesday’s Baby Bike Parade certainly is another colorful celebration combined with a performance from the Wednesday Evening Fiddlers.   Thursday is when things really start cranking, with the Cary Adventure Park full of inflatable bounce houses, water features and more, the ever-popular potato picking contest and the Family Movie Under the Stars,” he added.

The Festival Main Stage will come to life Thursday, offering free musical performances with an expanded beer garden and food vendors on Main Street.  Thursday, Brian and Doug from the popular local band Common Crossing hit the stage at 6 p.m., followed by French Toast at 8 p.m.  Friday’s line-up features Travis Cyr and the Strings of Calamity at 6 p.m. and contemporary country rocker JD Gilbert and his band at 8 p.m.

“Saturday is the apex of the Festival, with more than 10,000 people attending the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Parade.  Again this year, the parade will feature a pre-parade car parade, as well as cruisers participating in our new police car show from that morning,” explained Goff.  “The parade starts at 1pm, but folks start lining the streets, hitting the pancake breakfast and the craft fair, or participating in the Festival 5-Miler early on Saturday.  

“This year, we want to offer even more reasons for folks to hang around, so the International Tater Tot Eating Competition will return for a second year, and bands will be hitting the Festival Main Stage as soon as the last float floats by.”

Saturday’s Festival Main Stage performances begin at 3 p.m. with the Star City Syndicate, featuring 18 local musicians. Adam Nadeau will follow at 5 p.m., and at 7 p.m. “acoustic maestro” Ben Kilcollins will bring his band to his hometown. The modern pop dance band Tickle will play at 9 p.m.

Capping the nine-day celebration will be Unlucky Joe at 7 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a fireworks finale over the Aroostook River directly behind the Festival Main Stage.  There will be a beer garden and multiple food vendors available during all four nights of music.

Other festival events include the return of a favorite, the Wednesday Evening Fiddlers, as well as numerous athletic competitions, ever-popular agricultural offerings, mashed potato wrestling competitions and much more.  For a full schedule of events visit

For more information, contact Goff at 472-3802 or email