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46th annual Common Ground Country Fair returns to Unity

The beloved fair in Waldo County is back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

UNITY, Maine — If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, the 46th annual Common Ground Country Fair may be just what you're looking for. 

The fair, created by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) in the late 1970s, has returned after being canceled the last two years due to the pandemic. 

The three-day event kicks off on Friday and goes through Sunday. It's open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The annual celebration of organic agriculture and rural living features more than 1,000 exhibits and vendors with an emphasis on sustainability and local farming. The fair also offers a variety of workshops on farming, gardening, cooking, and even DIY home hacks. 

"People who have years and years and years of experience gardening or someone who's just starting — we'll all learn something from being here this weekend," Julia Marino of Sweden, Maine, said.

"We buy so many things here — we like to support the local economy," Cathryn Harjung of Troy, said.

This year, there is a more spacious layout on the fairgrounds which allows for more space in busier areas. The fair is also offering electronic ticketing to speed up wait times, as well as and extra handwashing stations and restrooms. 

The Common Ground Fair started as a harvest celebration and has continued to grow ever since.

David Hilton, an information coordinator for the fair, said each year it draws in about 65,000 people over the course of the three days. Hilton has worked the fair every year since the beginning. 

"It's always like your family to come back to. It's just fun to see everybody again," Hilton said.

Marino said as much fun as it is to enjoy the foods and animals, the Common Ground Country Fair is really about the bigger picture for the greater community. 

"When you come here, you can learn about things you can do to make positive changes for the environment, starting in your own backyard," Hilton said. 

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