Ten days of amusement and memory making await families who attend the Bangor State Fair. As traditional fairs go, this one has it all. Taste fried fair food like dough with toppings and experience the thrill of long-established events such as animal exhibits and tractor pulls.
One of the oldest fairs in the State of Maine, Bangor State Fair has been welcoming agricultural and entertainment enthusiasts since 1849. Over the years, organizers have learned how to run the fair like a well-oiled wheel and enjoy every minute of the planning. An experience aimed at families, the fair boasts a truck pull, an animal alley, and an Old MacDonald’s Farm display.
Your gang, from young to old, will have a blast riding the midway and showing off skills at the carnival shows. Who is the bravest and who has the steadiest hand? Marvel at a juggler’s talent and sway to the music of local bands and vocalists. The smash and crash of the demolition derby will provide a chance for laughter and exclamation as one car after another is flattened.
While in the Bangor area, visit the Paul Bunyan statue, a towering replica of the lumberjack. Wander along the Penobscot River, or take in a museum. Many RVers swing by famous novelist Stephen King’s house. In the evening, retreat to your home on wheels in a nearby campground with the amenities to suit your family’s tastes.
Bangor State Fair is a bargain in the making, with ticket prices being the same for all ages, although children under 3 are free. Entrance fees are separate from the cost of the midway, and there is an option to combine the two. Prices range from $5 to $15. Pay at the gate via cash, debit, or credit and take note that there is no readmission to the fair. Make it a day-long event; check out the details at www.bangorstatefair.com.
I-95 will put you in the direction of the event. Bangor State Fair is held at Bass Park; this large greenspace can’t be missed, and signage will point to the entrance. As you approach, enjoy the view along the Penobscot River. Get a feel for the area as you drive; you will want to explore the city’s park areas, see a beach, or perhaps visit a farmer’s market.
Paid parking for all vehicles is available at the VIP lot or the racetrack infield; both are in proximity to the fun. The cost will depend on how close you want to be. If you require handicap accessible parking, have your official placard in your window to gain access to the lot specified as ADA.
Carpooling and ridesharing options are recommended if you do not want to navigate your camping rig in town. From your chosen campground, drive to a close location with free and easy parking and then use a taxi service for a relaxed drive to the fun.
The campsites found at Bangor State Fair are for use by the vendors and animal exhibitors. They need to be close by their animals and booths for late night care and restocking. Your options are plentiful and appealing, though for camping nearby.
Camp near the sea or stay further inland and enjoy a forest experience. The choices are innumerable; claim a spot out in the open or in the shade. Full hookups with ample electricity, wide sites for slideouts, and the convenience of pull-through sites make the area around Bangor an attractive destination.
Bangor State Fair is a venue that requires your comfiest walking shoes. Bring along a second pair for each member of the family; often a change in footwear revitalizes the feet. Most areas should be able to accommodate a wheelchair or stroller unless rain makes smaller paths muddy and soft. The grandstand areas are not easily accessed unless on foot due to tight spaces.
Pleasant temperatures allow for a variety of clothing choices. Pack both fairground and campground clothing; the two may be interchangeable. Include shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and closed-toe shoes. Warm sweatshirts for cool evenings are a must as is rain gear in case of a wet day. A light and floppy hat will protect the ears and neck from the August sun.
A fun campsite is a fully stocked one. Outdoor toys, like lawn darts for competitive fun and bubbles for blowing, are an essential part of the packing list. On the practical side, remember to bring a small radio, toiletries, towels, bug spray, and sunscreen. For Bangor State Fair attendance days, a refillable water bottle and an enthusiastic attitude are all you will need.
Remind the kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day even though they may insist they are not thirsty. Make taking a break in the shade every few hours standard practice. Visit the coolness of the exhibition barns if the kids don’t want to sit under the shade of a tree. Make a plan to reunite at a clearly understood location in the event a family member gets separated from the group.
Have a seafood feast while in Maine. Grilled fish skewers, fish tacos, and salmon cooked in foil are easy and healthy dishes to end the day. To have a smooth kitchen or campfire experience, ensure that the RV cabinets are stocked with pots and pans (including the ever-useful cast iron pan). Check the propane and water levels and store a bag of briquets in the cupboard beside the camp stove.
Take a break from cooking and head into Bangor for a night of flavors. Try gnocchi, crab cakes, rack of lamb, or the popular Maine lobster roll. For those who aren’t a fan of seafood, options like an Indian dish such as chicken saag or Japanese maki rolls make the grade.
No fair visit is complete without something fattening and fried. Bangor State Fair has that, along with donut burgers, blueberry crisps, and plenty more. Trinkets and artisan crafts are a bargain not to be missed. ATMs are onsite; as payment, most vendors will take cash or debit at their discretion.
Volunteers and officials work hard all year long to plan and organize a fair that has all security bases covered. If you have a concern, speak to a trained volunteer who will be happy to assist. No pets are permitted on the premises; however, certified service dogs wearing identifiable gear are welcome. Disorderly patrons will be removed from the fair.
Bangor State Fair takes place rain or shine; wear billy boots and a jacket on a rainy day and take the time to view the farm animals and vegetable exhibits if you are looking to get or stay dry. Have towels on hand in the RV for wet puddle-jumping kids who return for a snack. Fluffy sleeping bags and warm blankets are good to have in the event of a cool evening.
A well-supplied travel camper has a fully stocked first aid kit on board. Ointment for bug bites and scrapes and band-aids for cuts and blisters are essentials. When packing for the trip, remember to put medications and special needs supplies at the top of the list.