14 Sep 2020

Fair Celebrations: Maine Day at the Big E, Wherever you are!

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To honor Maine Day 2020 at the Big E! fair, and 200 years of statehood, we will share ways you can find the best of Maine year-round. We begin with tips to support some of your favorite Maine building businesses. What does this mean? We’ll connect you directly to the men and women who offer some great gifts and keepsakes, and service with a smile when visiting the Maine Building!

After a trip around the building, it’s tradition to enjoy some Maine food and beverage, which features ingredients from Maine. So, to help with some cravings, we share some DIY recipes so you can enjoy iconic food, like Maine potatoes and wild blueberries year-round. And, as every fair-goer knows, the memories are some of the favorite parts. Exhibitors have been busy helping you shop, cook and stay connected to New England traditions, like the Big E! fair. We hope you are celebrating the traditions of New England agriculture, no matter where you are!

Happy Birthday Maine!

Maine celebrates 200 years of statehood in 2020, and it’s certainly a birthday year to remember! Kick off your Maine day with a video shout out by artist, Alan Claude, a Maine Building exhibitor. You’ll see his art and some of the reasons we celebrate Maine, including working landscapes, and rugged rocky coastline, home to small businesses, famous destinations and Mainers.

Shop the perfect Maine gift or keepsake…

Looking for gifts made in Maine? There are plenty of options! First, let’s help you catch up with some of the Maine Building exhibitors. We introduce you to Beau, Linda and Rick, some of the long-time Maine Building exhibitors. They handcraft products, and will gladly help you find something special and local!

  • Hilltop Spoonworks – they offer custom orders online. Says maker, Beau Taylor, “I work with a variety of different wood species; Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Birch…” You’ll want to visit Beau’s website for his functional kitchen utensils!
  • Winter Whimsies – maker Linda Cohen, specializes in personalized ornaments. Friends and families celebrate memories with the cute creations. You can shop online, and find them in the Big E! 2020 virtual market!
  • Old Bottle Sea Glass – maker Rick Carney, specializes in one-of -a-kind up-cycled artifact art. This combo of art and function offers something truly unique! You can visit their website, and find them in the Big E! 2020 virtual market!

You can also find these vendors and other Maine artisans and businesses in the Maine Made directory, which also lists other virtual markets and fairs for your favorite makers!

DIY with Maine food and beverage

Who doesn’t love the combination of delicious food, and supporting local agriculture? In Maine, we’re proud of our farmers, and the businesses who create award-winning foods, and grocery staples you can enjoy. As fair-goers look for ways to stay connected with New England farms, and farm products, we want to share some recipes, and help you learn more about the people who make it possible for us to enjoy these foods. We hope you enjoy the DIY suggestions!

Popular potatoes

A delicious recipe for bacon, cheddar mashed Maine potatoes will help you re-create some of the flavors at home! Or , try the twice-baked potatoes for the ‘meal-in-a-peel’ feel!

Caribou Russet potatoes, grown by Irving Farm, Caribou, Maine is the star of the Maine Potato Board booth at the Big E! fair. This great baking and mashing variety grows in the rich soil of Aroostook County in northern Maine, where the family farm has operated for nearly 100 years! You can find Maine potatoes at the grocery store, look for the Maine quality seal, or ask your local store to stock up.

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes! The more the merrier in Maine. Take a look at how Maine’s iconic growers get these delicious tubers ready for you. At the Maine Building, the Green Thumb Potatoes are used in the backyard fries.
Deep blue, tiny, tasty, wild blueberries are a super-food! Find recipes, where to buy, and learn about the growers…
  • Wild Blueberry Recipes — from smoothies and snacks to ‘suppah’, there’s something for all!
  • Where to buy (Tip: You can also ask your local produce department to stock up on wild Maine blueberries!)
Can you find a familiar face from the fair? Maine’s wild blueberry growers often provide insight about their crops. You can still learn more in this video!
Learn more about Maine wild blueberries!

But wait, there’s more…

Near, far, no matter where you are…

Visitors to the Maine Building on the Avenue of States come for the food, beverages, and fine Maine-made products and stay for the smiles. We want them to get a taste of the craftsmanship, and the hospitality. Traditionally, the first Saturday of the fair is Maine Day. This annual celebration begins with Maine 4-H and FFA youth kicking off the opening of the building, and recognizing Maine agriculture. Then, it’s followed by the shopping and showcasing of Maine crafts and food and beverage, and a stop at the information booth to find your Maine guidebook. At the end of the day, visitors can see Maine on parade across the fairgrounds.

This year, we will celebrate in different ways. We invite you to share your DIY recipes and give a nod to the Maine Building makers whose products you enjoy! You can tag your pictures of recipes and shopping finds with #RealMaine. When the timing is right, we all look forward to a future visit. Until then, here’s to the continued tradition of buying Maine products, and enjoying food and drink with Maine ingredients. Here’s to supporting New England’s agricultural roots, and each other, year-round!