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  You are here:  The FairFair NewsFair News ArchivesFair News – Spring 2012   
 Fair News – Spring 2012 Minimize

2012 CGCF Poster

Common Ground Country Fair • September 21, 22 & 23, 2012
(always the third weekend after Labor Day)

2012 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Unveiled
Applications for Exhibitors and Presenters for the 2012 Fair
Volunteers Make an Impact at Common Ground
New for 2012: Ingenuity Area
Start Planning For The Fair
Summer Fair Assistant

2012 Common Ground Country Fair Poster Unveiled

The poster for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair was unveiled at MOFGA's annual meeting during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. The 2012 poster features a vibrant bunch of garlic scapes drawn by Maine artist Lyndsey Marston.

Each year MOFGA invites Maine residents and MOFGA members (regardless of residence) to submit a design for our Common Ground Country Fair poster. The selected design is featured on the Fair poster, website, T-shirt and promotional literature. The artist is also featured in this newspaper and in a press release on the poster contest and selected design. In addition to these benefits, the winning artist receives $1,000. For complete guidelines, including technical specifications, eligibility requirements and timeline, please visit the poster link on the Fair page at www.mofga.org or contact the MOFGA office at commonground@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.

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MOFGA Accepting Applications for Exhibitors and Presenters for the 2012 Fair

Would you like to be a vendor, exhibitor or demonstrator at the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair? Do you know of a presenter, artisan or Maine enterprise that would be a good fit for Common Ground? The application process for vendors, exhibitors and speakers for the 2012 Fair is under way.

The application process for the crafts area closed on February 3, but for all other areas, MOFGA is accepting applications from prospective participants for the 2012 Fair. If you are interested in participating in the Fair as a vendor, exhibitor, demonstrator or speaker but are not sure which area is appropriate for you, call us for help or review the area descriptions and guidelines posted on the Fair pages of our website.

Sari Landauer
Fair Volunteers
Plan now to volunteer at the Fair, like Sari Landauer and these two young friends. English photos.

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Volunteers Make an Impact at Common Ground

If you drove to the Fair last year, entering from the north, did you notice that a fee was no longer charged for parking in the first parking lot on Crosby Brook Road? And that without having to collect payment for that lot, traffic moved along better than in previous years? If you did park in the Crosby Lot (our name for the northern-most lot), did you get a ride toward the gate in a tractor shuttle? In 2011, MOFGA purchased this hayfield from our neighbor, Leigh Crosby, making all these improvements possible; but volunteers really made them happen.

That's a common refrain around the Fair: "Volunteers make it happen." Volunteers are actively involved in conceiving and managing every facet of the Fair. The new Young Maine area? It’s brought to us by volunteers of the Maine School Garden Network, particularly Nikkilee Carelton, who organized the exhibitors and talks there. The new Farmers' Market at the Pine Gate? That was no more than a good idea until Adrienne Lee of New Beat Farm stepped forward to coordinate it. Dennis Merrill had the directional arrow signs around the grounds made; Nancy Rosalie is responsible for the Common Thrones; and Bernie Desautels for the crosswalks on Crosby Brook Road. The yet-to-be-launched Ingenuity Area (see below) is another great project, cooked up by Jack Kertez and Bill Whitman.

The richness of the Fair reflects the individuals who volunteer their own ideas, insights, talents and efforts to the Fair to "make it happen." The inverse is true, too: "No volunteers, no it." For example, we didn't host the 5k foot race last year because we didn't have enough volunteer coordinators to manage it safely – but thanks to Michael Bunker, 2010 foot race winner and volunteer, we are planning to bring the race back.

If you have any interest in getting involved with planning and managing the Fair, many parts could use your help. To take a leadership role in any element of MOFGA's annual celebration, please contact Jim Ahearne or April Boucher at the MOFGA office at commonground@mofga.org or 207-568-4142.

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New for 2012: Ingenuity Area

Wanted: Farm and garden innovations and inventors, free thinkers and crackpots. Do you think outside the cold frame? Have you ever improved or invented a piece of equipment to make work easier? Bring it to the new Ingenuity Area at the Common Ground Fair. For more information, contact Bill Whitman at mystymountainfarm@megalink.net.

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Start Planning For The Fair

Here are some things you can do now to start planning for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair:

• Join the Fair Planning Team as a volunteer area coordinator to help manage a part of the Fair that you care a lot about.

• Create a design for the 2013 Common Ground Country Fair poster design contest. Details are posted on the Fair poster page at www.mofga.org.

• Order seeds and start plants for your garden. Results could be entered in the Exhibition Hall displays or offered to the Common Kitchen to help feed volunteers during the Fair. If you do grow a row for the kitchen, please let Bill Whitman know at mystymountainfarm@megalink.net. Thanks!

• Work with your local schools and teachers to plan a student field trip to Common Ground. It's never too early to ask, especially because the Fair comes right after the start of the school year. All student groups get into the Fair free on Friday, and we offer partial reimbursements for school group travel expenses.

• Organize a community bus trip to Common Ground. It’s a terrific way to help conserve resources while getting preferred parking near the Rose Gate!

• Tune your bicycle and body to bicycle, partway or all the way, to the Fair. Valet bicycle parking is provided. Last year close to 600 cyclists pedaled to the Fair.

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Summer Fair Assistant

To help with the seasonal wave of administrative work on the Fair, we hire a part-time seasonal assistant in the MOFGA office. The ideal candidate is available from early May through early October, is proficient with computers, basic layout, design and database software, experienced working on events and with volunteers, and has a deep enthusiasm for the work of MOFGA, especially the Common Ground Country Fair. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this position, please contact Fair director Jim Ahearne at jahearne@mofga.org.

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