HOULTON, Maine — Houlton Agricultural Fair was off to a sizzling start for its four-day celebration as temperatures soared into the upper 80s on Thursday, followed by high temperatures in the 90s on Friday.
The heat did little to deter a large crowd for attending Thursday’s opening festivities, which included a “Tuff Truck” competition, chainsaw carving demonstrations, performances by ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher and midway rides from Kavanaugh Amusements.
Friday featured numerous children’s games, including the popular pig scramble, eel racing and ice cream eating contests. On Saturday, the demolition derby takes center stage and typically draws upward of 3,000 people to the event, while on Sunday, an ATV/UTV drag racing competition and fireman’s muster are on tap.
For many, the fair, and in particular the Fourth of July, are time-honored traditions in Houlton.
Resident Cathy St. John said the fair and Fourth of July parade are the highlights each year. She particularly noted this year’s parade went above and beyond with watermelon, popsicles, candy, frisbees, dog dishes, water and flags among the many items passed out during the parade.
“My cousin from Bar Harbor said we do an excellent Fourth of July,” she said. “I think we take it for granted sometimes. It is a special time.”
Jennifer Collins, formerly of Houlton, said her family was given a choice of spending the Fourth of July in Houlton or Washington D.C., and her children immediately said Houlton was their choice. “We love it all, but my favorite is the parade,” she said.
Houlton resident Danny Norton said, “The pride Houlton and all the surrounding communities have for our flag and country” is what he enjoys the most about the holiday.
For Cathy Davis of Houlton, all of the events put together is what makes it so special. “All of it, the parade, fair, food, fireworks, Midnight Madness and the craft fair, it is just a great time all the way around.”
Andrew Mooers added ,“Everyone working on their piece of the Fourth celebration; what the area does as individuals that pulls off one neat small town area-wide celebration,” is what he enjoys the most.