The 2013 Union Fair opens Saturday, Aug. 17, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 24, at the fairgrounds off Route 17. A real Maine agricultural fair, it also offers live music daily, mostly in the Entertainment Center; and a big concert Friday night, Aug. 23, by Nashville-born and -raised country singer Greg Bates on the Grandstand stage.

A new entertainment offering this year is Union Fair’s own talent show with a Grand Prize of $500. Preliminaries are set for Saturday, Aug. 17, at noon; and the finals will begin Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. on the Grandstand. This year’s Featured Act is Horses, Horses, Horses, a performing miniature stallion show presented by Lisa Dufresne, a gold and silver medalist in the United States Dressage Federation, Tuesday through Saturday at 3 and 6 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, the Jessica Prouty Band performs alternative rock at 1 and 4 p.m. On Monday, Aug. 19, Maine country/bluegrass band New Relm takes the stage at 1 and 4 p.m. Country music rules Tuesday, Aug. 20, with Ken & Jane Brooks at 1 and 4 p.m.; and the Ron & Kay Anderson Duet at 3 p.m., at Sherman Park. The Midcoast’s own Steelin’ Thunder Band will play a pre-fireworks show Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 7:30 p.m. on the Grandstand. Perley Curtis purveys country tunes Thursday, Aug. 22, at 1 and 4 p.m. The popular Blue Hill Brass performs Friday, Aug. 23, at 4 p.m. The fair’s final day, Saturday, Aug. 24, will include Lucky Bob’s juggling and magic show at 1 and 3 p.m.; and local acoustic favorites Playin’ Possum from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

The admission policy this year is a tall order — Choose-Your-Admission plans run from $8 to $12, free for toddlers and anyone else who stands shorter than three feet. For the complete schedule of events, visit unionfair.org or look for the fair flyer and premium books at Midcoast stores. Daily updates can be found on the fair’s Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.