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Northern Maine Fair plans first trade show

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The cancellation of a longtime spring trade show earlier this year has prompted the Northern Maine Fair Association to plan its own exhibitor event, to take place during this year’s fair.

According to Lynwood Winslow, president of the Fair Association, businesses, organizations and vendors will have a chance to showcase their products and services and connect with the community during the fair’s first Commercial Expo and Marketplace, which members hope to make an annual event.

The Fort Fairfield Quality of Place Council cancelled the long-running Northern Maine Agri-Business Trade Fair, which had been scheduled March 24 and 25, due to a number of factors, including vendors with limited product and questions about the fair’s agricultural focus.

“The Fair saw an opportunity to utilize The Forum during the fair to allow those same vendors to show their businesses and organizations to the people of northern Maine if they didn’t get a chance to earlier this year,” said Winslow.

“We have been searching for a better way to involve more local businesses and organizations during the fair,” he said. “With the opening of the Commercial Expo and Marketplace, we can now offer an affordable and professional venue where their groups will have a lot of exposure to our fairgoers.”

The six-day event will allow vendors to display their products and services to more than 20,000 fairgoers during northern Maine’s oldest and largest family summertime event, at what fair organizers believe are convenient hours. The show schedule is: Monday through Saturday, July 30-August 4, from 4 to 9 p.m.

“With only evening hours on weekdays and one weekend day, businesses won’t have to take employees from their regular jobs to work the show,” Winslow said.

The fair will make some significant changes to its layout this year, which will drive traffic specifically into this new show. The Forum will become the center for action, with the midway reorganized around it. Organizers will also relocate the main gate off Mechanic Street so everyone who enters the fair will be directed to the front of the Forum.

“These changes will not only give the Fair a new look, but they will also improve safety, handicap accessibility, and reduce traffic inside the fair,” said Winslow.

Booths at the expo are $250 each. For more information, contact the fair via Facebook or its website, www.northernmainefair.com, or contact Winslow directly at (207) 227-4690 or lwinslow@northernmainefair.com.

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