Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Blue Hill Fair: Summer's Last Hurrah

For over 100 years, Mainers and "people from away" (as the locals say) have all joined in the fun and festivities at the Blue Hill Fair held each Labor Day weekend. 

Tom and I went for the first time, and what did we find at this "Downeast" country fair? An explosion for the senses! First, the food: Italian sausages with grilled onions, crispy French fries, hot doughnuts, blueberry and apple pies...all very tempting and lip-smacking good! (Yes, we sampled every one of those.) There was music, entertainment, games and rides, of course - even a petting zoo for the kids (and a few grownups, we spied). Additionally, the fair had livestock shows full of champions from pigs to cows. But, our favorite was checking out the exhibition halls filled with colorful displays of crafts, vegetables as well as flowers in every happy hue of the rainbow.
Speaking of happy colors, we were greeted with the MOST perfect dahlias from our friend Marty's garden. She is a master gardener and member of the Castine Garden Club. Many thanks, Marty!
The exquisite barometer, which Tom and I love very much, was a gift from good friends. Thank you, Gail and Saul!
Now let's check out the fair. On the drive over, I had to snap this vintage truck lost in a field of Queen Anne's Lace flowers.
Welcome to the Blue Hill Fair! We were told by the locals to try the best French fries at King and Queen. Deeeeee-lish :)
This annual fair is held during Labor Day weekend in Blue Hill, Maine.
Beautiful dahlias vying for a prize in one of the exhibition halls. It was a pleasant surprise to find these dahlias still looking so fresh after four days. Labor Day weekend was quite warm, and we visited on the last day.
More flower entries - the competition was fierce!
I was fascinated by these very creative and informative Grange agricultural displays - especially this one from Castine Grange #250.
ABOVE: The moose, lobster, blueberry and pinecone are all synonymous with Maine. 
BELOW: Note the homespun cottons printed in charming patterns.
Another one by a different community Grange organization. 
BELOW: Hi, there! A peek of the judges at work.
Introducing Miss Capela, a grand champion! She is a Belted Galloway (AKA Oreo cow) from Casa Cattle Company, Corinna, Maine. Congratulations to Capela!!
And I leave you with this fabulous autumnal display by the folks at the Ellsworth Garden Club.

Hope your summer was awesome! Welcome back~
Cheers,
Loi 

67 comments:

  1. Hello Loi, All those displays are such a feast for the eyes. And this is just the beginning. Apple season is just starting, and in Maine you should get your pick of many old varieties. And to top it all, Fall in the Northeast is spectacular beyond belief. I envy all that you can still look forward to.
    --Jim

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  2. Love it all...makes me a little bit homesick. Enjoy the next few weeks! Colors should be spectacular!

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    1. Yes, we're looking forward to the fall foliage in Maine. I've heard it is really beautiful. Thanks for your visit.

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  3. What a fun time! Small town communities at their best! The dahlias are spectacular, Loi. I was in Santa Fe for the Labor Day weekend, and the dahlias were equally as magnificent both in the garden in the home where I stayed and at the Saturday farmer's market. I've never seen such huge, colorful blooms. Enjoy your remaining days in beautiful Maine!

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  4. Wow, looks like fun! Spring here and a good day to be out weeding! Better get back to it...

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  5. This post makes me happy.....reminds me that the good old fashioned pleasures in life are still the best despite all of the crazy technologies that can do insane things.....little old fashioned jars of jam, beautiful flowers form the earth and simple carnival games still trump that...isn't that amazing! Looks like such a fun way to spend a day with your community...and those flowers...pure heaven!

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    1. Tina, I absolutely agree. Maine is very special.

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  6. What a great day! The photos are fabulous. Love the posters of the fair!

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  7. What fun Loi, hank you for taking us along! We loved our county fair in Ohio, especially the livestock and food. The dahlias are beautiful, seeing many grown here in the mountains too. Cheers to all your new Maine adventures. Next up, fall color!

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  8. What a great day! The photos are fabulous. Love the posters of the fair!

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  9. What a fabulous way to celebrate Labor Day!! Looks like so much fun and a great way to bring the community together.
    Mary Alice

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  10. Hi Loi!!!
    It has been a bit difficult to feel the fall vibe this past week and today especially as we sit in hot humid weather here in New England! Your post sure has helped me feel more fall in the air. Thanks :-)
    Fondly-Lisa

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  11. Dear Loi,
    If ever, ever, I could convince MC to move "again", it would be to Maine. We loved it when we spent time there a couple of years ago.
    We found the Oreo cows fascinating
    The flowers are amazing and their colors are gorgeous!
    xo
    Patty!

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  12. You are looking like a local. It did not take you long to find out all the 'in' places and I love reading about them. Can't wait to see the fall colors come alive in Maine.

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  13. These events are always so much fun and I can see this fair did not disappoint.
    I love seeing all of the beautiful floral entries Loi!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  14. Hello Loi,

    This is all such fun. What a great sense of community spirit there is at the Blue Hill Fair, something for everyone and all done with great enthusiasm. We should have loved to have joined you there.

    The produce on display looks to be of wonderfully high quality. We are certain that we should have spent most of our time sampling all the goods and returning home many pounds heavier!

    Your photographs have really caught the fun of it all. The faces of the locals and the beUtifully presented pickles in jars all give such a warmly welcoming feel. Maine definitely looks like a very friendly place to live.

    Your Dahlias are gorgeous and look perfect as the first sight on entering your home. But, what generous friends you have!

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  15. Such a pretty and fun post Loi! I like the small town feel here today. There is a feeling of comfort that comes from seeing these images .. the flowers, the local jam, pickled veges, and carnival games. Simple pleasures of life! Enjoy your weekend ~ xxL

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  16. Loi,
    Fall is my favorite season. Autumn's colors excite my senses and satisfies my need for rustic touches and don 't get me started with my love of pumpkins!!! Your friend Marty's Dahlias are sublime, Dahlias are stunning flowers. Such a beautiful bucolic setting for the garden clubs display at the country fair in Blue Hill Maine. I love Maine but have never been to Blue Hill. Well with all the lovely harvest pictures I'm needing a day in the country. I guess John and I will take a drive to Lancaster and enjoy the scenery. Oh how beautiful all your photos are in this post.
    Be happy, be well
    Vera

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  17. a true old fashioned fair, love!! our county fair has become too commercial, i.e. screen door vendors and the lot.....terrible. this reminds me of the country fairs in the engish countryside
    lobsters, moose, blueberries..........ahhhhh
    debra

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  18. Love this Loi! Takes me right back to my midwestern roots. These wholesome beautiful images are the much needed antidote for some of the heinous scenes we are being subjected to on the news these days. What I love most is that this could've been yesterday or fifty years ago. Not one I-phone in sight! xoxo ~ Laurel

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  19. This is a REAL COUNTRY FAIR!You must make this a TRADITION!Love the flower competition!!

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  20. What fun, Loi! I do believe you have landed in the most perfect American town. Amazing Dahlias, too!
    xoxo,
    P

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  21. Wow, what a beautiful fair! So many wonderful displays and crafts. I would be tempted by the goodies too, that is what a good, old fashioned fair is all about. Beautiful girfts from your friends. Perfect for your new home. Have a lovely weekend. Patty/NS

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  22. wow, I love this wholesome bite of americana! p.s. what nice friends you have.

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  23. Oh, this is America at her best! I love to go to fairs, anywhere. It's not so much for the buying, but for the visuals and visiting. I know you know.
    xx's

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  24. Wow! what a burst of color, we can't smell through the pictures but I am sure with all the wonderful aromas of fries, pies and Dahlias it must be a treat for the senses.
    Best wishes.

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  25. What fun! Beautiful pictures; and beautiful displays!

    I love "people from away"!! Funny!

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  26. Oh, Loi, not fare at all that I do not live in Maine or at best close enough to travel to such a fair event.
    Love all the little displays of charm, home town grown and valued in the joy of growing and crafting.
    I would adore spending a day at a fair like this.

    Thank you for inspiring wholesomeness!
    A beautiful weekend to you my friend.
    I have posted a French Iron bed, another one in my small French cottage.

    Xx
    Bisous

    Doré

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  27. Hi, Loi,

    I can't imagine judging the runners-up to all these beautiful flowers and veggies, let alone the winners. I hope you were able to take some of those jars home with you to D.C.!

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  28. Fun, fun, fun!! I love Dalias, my Grandfather grew them and some of them got huge!! We went to Golden gate park and by the arboretum they have a circular garden that they plant seasonal flowers and one year it was dalias and I swear they had some the size of a salad plate, just gorgeous and amazing colors. Fun trip Loi!!
    xo Kathysue

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  29. Loi,
    This seems like something out of a movie...such a great event with small town charm. Just reading about the food at the fair made me hungry. The exhibits were amazing, such beautiful dahlias and gorgeous pumpkins. We have a sizeable fair here in Orange County. I usually enjoy the exhibition halls and farm animals the most. Thanks for sharing.
    xo,
    Karen

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  30. Beautiful post, Loi! And perfect for the end of summer…except that it still feels very much like summer here in Alabama! I would LOVE to go to that fair or any fair for that matter in Maine! Maine has always captured my heart and now you just confirmed it even more! So glad to see this and so good to read one of your spectacular posts! By the way…LOVE the barometer! That is on my radar for the shop and we've been on the hunt for that perfect one…now I'm really inspired! Take care!

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  31. How fun - I love a good fair! And I love it even more that you jumped right in there and sampled all of those country fair foods :) What a great way to wrap up the summer!

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  32. I really enjoyed your photos of the fair. It was almost as good as being there... well, except for not being able to taste all of that awesome food!

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  33. Hi Loi, This fair seems like a slice of HEAVEN. Makes me very nostalgic for the East Coast. Thanks for sharing this glorious day.
    xoxo Mary

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  34. Incredibly quaint and charming. There's just nothing more country than a fair.

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  35. Those dahlias are fabulous! I love fairs - I love to see the animals and not to mention the fair treats.

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  36. WOW. Loi, you get me every time. This is like being in a movie.....a county fair, with all the delicious smells and tastes, the people, the animals, the flowers!!!!!!!!

    I was at the Minnesota State Fair two weeks ago and it was thrilling. There were 250,000 people there the day I went! It was hard to get photos, and I spent most of my time with THE HORSES! I only had my phone with me, so the photos of my favorite animal are not that great, but did I have fun bonding with those giant beauties!!

    This really is gorgeous what you've put together, from your lovely dahlias at home (love that diminutive table and white pitcher!) to the summer explosion of colors of the fair - the stands, the flowers! Then the last photo you have with the more muted colors for fall. Your area in Maine is going to be spectacular this fall, and we can't wait to see it.

    WIshing you and Tom a fantastic Sunday! Anita

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    1. Wow! That's a BIG crowd!!! The Blue Hill Fair was just a bit smaller :)

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  37. ....and a good time was had by all !! Those Dahlias are just exquisite. There is something about the way their petals curl like tongues but so much prettier! I've noticed that Dahlias are becoming a favorite choice in gardens - including my own. Sorry, I am babbling! Ms. Capela looks so cuddlesome and she absolutely resembles an oreo. Your photos are

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  38. Your photos are so vivid! Enjoy this Indian Summer Loi. (sorry I was distracted and didn't finish my thought)

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    1. Ms Capela was adorable!!! And very friendly. Yes, September has been quite warm in our area. Thanks for your kind words, as always.

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  39. charming and like time has stood still, yes? i was amid very different flora! boyce thompson arboretum in superior, arizona--eucalyptus forests, river gum trees with the most amazing bark i have ever seen (will be posting pics soon on the blog), cacti, and an obvious omission of blueberry pie! your festival looks safer too with its fabric rimmed jars and gourds. i was attacked by a jumping cacti, and when barbs were removed minutes later with my sister's tweezers, i almost cried from the pain (and i am TOUGH with pain). smiles to you and your village, loi!

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  40. The hometown fairs are so much fun! How nice for you and Tom to experience this in your new second home community. No topiaries or bonsai in the competition? We see those in the fairs out west too. Great fun and what a nice way to end the summer.
    Hugs,
    Sarah

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    1. It was really fun! No bonsais or topes......but lots of pretty flowers :)

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  41. The last hurrah indeed!! From the pretty dahlias to the colourful stalls, displayed with homemade goodness, creative handmade lovelies, and floral flair, (not to mention the tasty treats you indulged in!), you have brought me back to some happy memories of my childhood in southern Ontario, where such country fairs were the last getaway before the new school year! So enjoyed your bright and beautiful photos of the Blue Hill Fair; thank you for taking us along!

    Have a wonderful week!

    Poppy

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  42. Loi, so much eye candy to soak up here! Looks like this would be a great family friendly event too. I see lots that the boys would enjoy! Thanks for sharing. Lovely pics as usual:). xx

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  43. Que lindo, uma festa cheia de delicias do campo. Por aqui não temos festas assim. Amei as dálias. Vou plantar essa flor e meu jardim.
    Obrigada por compartilhar tantas delicias e belezas. Amei essa festa.
    Tenha um ótimo início de semana.

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  45. Wow, your dahlia's are absolutely gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you! They are from the beautiful garden of a friend in Maine.

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  46. What a lovely fair it is! The dahlia's look amazing!

    Happy week!

    Madelief

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  47. Dahlias, pumpkins, mums and gourds: oh, this post captures what I love most about the early fall. So much color to enjoy!

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  48. I love fall fairs...they remind me of Charlotte's Web...ours is in October and it just shouts FALL IS HERE!!

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  49. What a fun way to welcome the fall season and we're dying over all those delightful dahlias! We'd be lining up for pie again and again (not to mention the French fries!) We hope you both are having a great week so far.
    xxoo
    C + C

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  50. Yes...I love these nostalgic type things, but I must say, I have never seen such pretty flowers at one! Lovely. Now, I'm hungry for French Fries!
    :) Blessings,
    -Revi

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  51. Happy end of summer, Loi!!!! Love those dahlias and small town fair. What a snapshot of Americana!!!

    Here's to a fun Fall ahead!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  52. I always loved the Blue Hill Fair/ Did you know the book Charlotte/s Web was based on the Blue Hill Fair?

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    1. No, I didn't!!! Thank YOU for sharing that info. I love knowing it :)

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  53. I love going to small county fairs like these! Thank you for taking us along Loi! I enjoyed looking at your fabulous pictures as always!

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  54. You are truly enjoying Maine my friend. I will enjoy visiting this Country Fair too. It's so fun and too many to discover. Wonderful photos Loi.

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  55. That looks so fun! Those flowers are breathtaking and I am sure I would have come home 5 lbs heavier from eating all of the "fair food".....

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  56. Oh now you makes me want to move to Maine! And those dahlias with the antique barometer - perfection! I want to run through that field full of queen anne's lace! xx

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  57. I've really enjoyed "Summers last Hurray"! What a charming fair. You've captured the atmosphere! And these Dahlias are smashing!
    xxxk

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi