“An agricultural fair is the one place you can go to showcase your hobby no matter who you are”
Tad Hunter became a member of the Topsham Fair in 1980. Back in those days, setup for the fair took just a week or so! He was involved for about 10 years, then took some time off. In 2005, he decided to volunteer for the fair again, and accidentally found himself elected Fair President. It wasn’t a cushy role – there were hard decisions to make at that time, and hard work to be done. Tad had great faith in the power of volunteers, recruiting helpers who were passionate about the fair and wanted to be involved because they care about the mission of the organization. Together, they made some great progress during his 5 years as president.
For the last decade now, Tad has taken on a very different role at the fair. Each year, he offers a sawmill demonstration at the fair, teaming up with a chainsaw artist for added lumber artistry. Half a dozen years ago, inspiration kicked in, and he began making benches and picnic tables for use on the fairgrounds. Then he started using the lumber from his sawing demos to build a unique wooden structure each year. To date, he has created a child-sized log cabin, a fort, and a Viking ship (kids can play on it at the fairgrounds!).
Tad and his wife Kathryn (current president of Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs) have been pleased to see so many improvements to the fairgrounds over the last 15 years. Tad’s parting thoughts on the fair:
“The Topsham Fair is a gathering place for a diverse crowd from surrounding communities and those visiting the coast of Maine from away. We work to offer something for every fairgoer while maintaining the tradition of agricultural fairs.”
If you visit the Topsham Fair, stop by to say hi to Tad! He’ll be the guy covered from head to toe in sawdust, eager to share his hobby, and his love of the agricultural fair!
The Springfield Fair
Rhylee Waltman is 9 years old and lives in Dexter, Maine. She has been pulling garden tractors for about 4 years. She got started because her uncle used to do it and she thought it looked like a lot of fun, so with support from her parents she got her tractor “Beauty’s Beast”, a Cub Cadet that has been modified to pull in the sport single class which is for single cylinder engines. Her tractor has 16 horsepower and goes 3.5 MPH while pulling the drag! That may sound like a lot of power, but she’s already looking for a bigger more powerful tractor for the Hot Stock class another year.
Riley attends several fairs during the summer to pull, including the Springfield Fair, but aside from pulling tractors she also enjoys bringing her cows to the Dover Fair. She likes hanging out with her friends at the fair and says pulling tractors is really fun. She also plays basketball and softball when she’s not on her tractor.
This is a hobby that is easy for kids 18 and under to get involved in. And doesn’t require a spruced-up tractor – you can work your way up!