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MOFGA Plans For In-Person Common Ground Fair

Mark Vogelzang
Maine Public file
Clouds loom over the Common Ground Country Fair in Sept. 2013.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association has announced plans to go ahead with an in-person fair for its signature event: The Common Ground Country Fair.

"Of course the CDC has given us some really wonderful sanitation guidelines and data driven mandates for us to follow," says Fair Director April Boucher.

Boucher says plans are still in progress, but the fair will be reshaped a bit to allow for social distancing. Face coverings will be mandated, and additional sanitation stations will be provided. And she says the fair will develop demonstrations that allow for adequate spacing of onlookers.

Since 1977, the Unity event has billed itself as a "celebration of rural living" and typically attracts more than 60,000 people over the course of three days.

Last year, the pandemic forced the fair to present a scaled-down virtual event, but Boucher says a survey this year signaled overwhelming support for an in-person fair. Still, she says it's not clear whether there will be enough volunteers to pull it off.

"It takes over 2,000 volunteers to make the Common Ground Country Fair a success, and especially this year to make it a safe event," she says.

The fair is currently planned for Sept. 24-26.