The Cumberland Fair was first held in October of 1868 for two days. At this first fair gathering ladies had the opportunity to exhibit their talents in cooking and needlework while farmers brought in their biggest, best looking and most scrumptious vegetables. Men who worked with cattle and steer had the chance to flaunt their strength and precise coordination of their animals at the ox-pulling contest. Local horsemen also raced their fastest steeds down Main Street. And this was how the annual coming of the Cumberland Fair began. Today, the Cumberland Fair has grown in size, but still preserves the communal essence of its humble beginnings. Now held annually in September, the Cumberland Fair is a great place for families and friends alike, to enjoy quality time together.
Residents and visitors of Cumberland who enjoy outdoor life and activities will definitely want to explore the area known as Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park located in the adjacent town of Freeport. This Park lies on a skinny peninsula covering over 200 acres of forest and shore land. It contains more than five miles of hiking trails that wind through the woods along the Harraseeket River or along the rocky shores of Casco Bay. Some wildlife a visitor might be able to catch glimpses of are great blue herons, snowy egrets, osprey, crabs and other sea life. The park offers guided programs and is outfitted with signs marking trails, picnic tables, charcoal grills, bathrooms and various nature programs for groups and the general public.
The annual Yarmouth Clam Festival – held for three days in July – is one of the area’s most celebrated and fun filled events. Yarmouth residents and visitors from all over join in to celebrate Yarmouth community spirit and pride. The festival offers families and friends good food – namely clams – arts and crafts shows – featuring some of the best artists in Maine – and light-hearted competitive games, with titles like, Maine State Clam Sucking Contest, Clam Festival Fun Run for Kids, Firefighters Muster Competition, and Diaper Derby.
There are quite a few impressive parks located in Yarmouth as well. Pratt’s Brook Park, located on the northwest side of town, offers over 220 acres of woods with a trail system over seven miles long and good for either walking or cross country skiing in the winter. The Royal River Park, located towards the center of town, is considered the “crown jewel” of the town’s park system. Features include a mile long walkway along the riverbank adorning beautiful waterfalls and scenic vistas. The Royal River Park offers great picnicking and is a good place for visitors to relieve some stress. Weekly free concerts are also held within the park grounds during the summer.
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