UNITY — Common Ground Country Fair organizers have canceled the in-person fair planned for Sept. 24-26 because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maine.

Maine Organic Gardeners and Farmers Association’s Fair Contingency Team posted the announcement on the MOFGA website late Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 1, and issued it to news media. This will be the second year the fair has been canceled because of the pandemic.

“We did not come to this decision easily and know that people will have mixed reactions and emotions, as we all do,” the committee said in the announcement. “So many people have worked very hard to put on a 2021 fair, including countless volunteer hours. We honor the hard work and dedication of all who make the Fair happen each year. In the end, we feel this large-scale community building event should not take place in the current COVID-19 situation.”

Absent the fair, MOFGA is exploring other ways to support the farmers, food producers, vendors, exhibitors, performing artists, attendees and volunteers who were planning to participate, including:

  • Creating videos of educational content that will be made available at no charge to the public and released during the weekend of the fair at mofga.org.
  • Exploring how the organization can support vendors and exhibitors through its online store and brick and mortar location in Freeport.
  • Determining if it can host smaller events at the MOFGA campus in Unity to highlight areas of the fair throughout the fall in a safe manner.

The committee hopes to hold an in-person Common Ground Country Fair on Sept. 23, 24 and 25, 2022, the announcement said. “It will be an all-hands-on-deck planning process that will begin later this fall and we’ll need our full community to make this a reality.”

MOFGA will be contacting those who have already purchased tickets to the fair in the coming week about refunds or transitioning those purchases to a donation.

“When we made the decision to move forward in May, we hoped that we’d be in a different place with the pandemic based on the information that was available at the time,” the committee said. “By working together, we hope that we will all get through this difficult situation. Thank you for your ongoing support.”