BY TOM LAVIS and RUTH RICE
There is no better time to recognize area farmers than during county fair season.
The fairs salute hard-working farm families while providing an opportunity to have good, old-fashioned fun.
Bedford County Fair will be held today through Saturday at the fairgrounds, west of downtown Bedford on business Route 30, which is West Pitt Street.
John E. Holvert, fair general manager, said the fair is introducing three new attractions for 2013.
“For the first time in 23 years, we will be bringing harness racing back to the fair,” Holvert said.
The races will begin at 11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Bedford is the first fair in the region to kick off the season, and Holvert anticipates good crowds if the weather cooperates.
“It has been raining in Bedford County for nearly a month and we might be lucky during fair week,” he said.
“People are eager to get out and have a good time.”
Holvert expects an enthusiastic crowd to attend a contemporary Christian music concert at 7 p.m. Monday.
“This will be a professional group, which will be bringing their own lights and sound,” he said.
“This is being presented by the Faith Generation Worship Team, Faith Assembly of God Church in Roaring Spring.
Fairs are a result of farming, and Holvert is pleased to welcome Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig on Thursday as he participates in Bedford Farm Bureau Cooperative Ag Business Day.
“Secretary Greig will be here from about 3 to 6 p.m. and will be on hand for the dairy and swine shows,” he said.
“We are really concentrating on presenting educational exhibits and events during Ag Business Day.” During Ag Business Day, there also will be an antique tractor parade at 6:30 p.m.
Bedford County fair queen will be crowned at 5 p.m. today at the arena.
Holvert said fans of the Bedford County Fair love their motor sports and promises that patrons will not be disappointed.
“We have three demolition derbies during the week that usually fill our grandstand,” Holvert said.
He estimated seating capacity at around 3,500.
“All seats are on a first-come, first-served basis and gates open two hours before the events,” Holvert said.
Race fans also will have an opportunity to see the six-division, stock-car race at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Throughout the week, visitors will have a chance to view livestock, participate in games and midway rides and enjoy a petting zoo.
Holvert said one of the biggest attractions throughout the week is food.
“We have over 50 vendors offering just about anything a fairgoer would expect,” he said.
Snyder Concessions of Bellefonte, Centre County, will be among the vendors and has been part of the fair for decades.
“They have 14 vending trailers, which will be set up to deliver some tasty treats,” Holvert said.
Holvert said a nonmotorized attraction will return in the form of Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania on Wednesday.
One price admission of $9 includes midway rides, exhibitions and grandstand shows.
Family Day will be held on Monday, and admission will be $5.
Senior Day will be held on Tuesday, and seniors ages 65 and older will receive free admission with a Medicare card until 4 p.m.
A number of midway stage shows are planned and will feature Denny Huber daily at 6:30 and 8 p.m. and at Jordan Hall daily at 1 and 3 p.m.
Organizers of the 122nd Cambria County Fair have planned a full slate of fun and entertainment during Labor Day week.
The fair will cap off the summer when it welcomes visitors Sept. 1-7 at the fairgrounds in Ebensburg.
Cambria County Fair offers guests a chance to see farm equipment, animal displays and enjoy musical entertainment, rides, food and demolition derbies.
Patricia Fenchak, fair manager for the Cambria County American Legion Recreation Association Inc., which owns and operates the fair, said the fairgrounds are in “top shape” and ready to welcome thousands of patrons.
Opening night will find country newcomers Maggie Rose and Charlie Worsham taking the grandstand stage at 7.
“These are two up-and-coming singers who will kick off the week’s musical entertainment,” Fenchak said.
The major concert featuring singer-songwriter Dustin Lynch will be presented at 7 p.m. Sept. 2.
“We have received a lot of interest with people clamoring to buy tickets,” Fenchak said.
He’s best known for his latest hits, “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor.”
High School Band Night will return at 6 Sept. 3.
“We brought band night back three years ago after not having it for a while,” Fenchak said.
The fair is introducing children to fishing by offering First Bite, a catch-and-release fishing tank.
“The fish tank is included in the price of admission,” Fenchak said.
“There will be a photo opportunity where children can stand in front of a backdrop to get a picture with their trophy.”
Youngsters also will have a chance to take part in a new event in the form of a pedal tractor pull.
“It’s for youngsters ages 3 to 8 and requires an entry form prior to the event,” Fenchak said.
Other grandstand shows include demolition derbies, truck pulls at 7 p.m. Sept. 4; and a monster truck show at 8 p.m. Sept. 7.
“This is a big last-day-of-the-fair event,” Fenchak said.
A 6 p.m. gates open for a meet-and-greet that costs $10.
“Youngsters can actually get a ride in one of these monster trucks and have their photo taken,” Fenchak said.
Returning for its second year at the fair is Nojoe’s Clown Circus, which features three full rings of fun daily for the entire family – clowns, showgirls and acrobats.
Fair organizers have been able to retain the $8 one-price ticket, which includes grandstand shows, midway, parking, rides, livestock barns, agriculture and annex buildings.
No fair is complete without traditional foods such as cotton candy, candy apples, fudge, apple dumplings, fried dough and a host of other meals and sandwiches.
The fairgrounds are located on old Route 219, a half mile north of Ebensburg.
The 113th annual Somerset County Fair will be held Aug. 17-24 at the fairgrounds at 7842 Mount Davis Road, Meyersdale.
Fair highlights will feature a semi-truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 17; the fair queen contest at 4 p.m. Aug. 18; Figure 8 Demo Derby Race at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19; 4x4 Mud Bogging at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20; Dave Martin Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21; Supreme Showman Finals at 7 p.m. Aug. 22; 4x4 truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 23; and Jack Fullerton Destruction Derby at 6 p.m. Aug. 24.
Baking contests will feature apple pies, angel food cakes and chocolate cakes, cookies and brownies.
Master chain saw sculptor Dennis Beach will demonstrate his craft at 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Aug. 18-23, with all woodcarvings auctioned at 8 p.m. Aug. 23.
Junior Fair Board events will include a Fair King Contest at noon Aug. 19, Fair’s Got Talent at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 22, Battle of the Barns at various times daily and a dunking booth from noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. daily.
Bands in the junior activities building will be Glory Guys Aug. 19, Apostles Creed Aug. 20, United Aug. 21, Shane & The RockollousAug. 22 and Willing Vessels Aug. 23.
The 151st Indiana County Fair will be held Aug. 25-31 at the fairgrounds at 700 Carter Ave., Indiana.
Fair highlights will feature a preview with modified and farm tractor pulls at 7 p.m. Aug. 24; crowning of Indiana Fair Queen at 5 p.m. and Harvest Home Service with 2BTrue at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25; country singer Craig Campbell at 8 p.m. Aug. 26; Band Night at 7 p.m. Aug. 27; stock gasoline and stock diesel 4x4 pickup pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 28; Cheerleading Expo Night at 6 Aug. 29; limited pro stock and smoker series for tractors and big rig semis at 7 p.m. Aug. 30; and demolition derby at noon and stock-semi, tri-axle dump, performance gas and performance diesel 4x4 truck pulls at 7 p.m. Aug. 31.
A train show, miniature farm show and Kiwanis kiddie farm will be open daily.
There will be performances by the Junk Rock Band drumming ensemble Aug. 27-28 and the carousel band organ Aug. 26-31.
Also from Aug. 26-31, “K9s in Flight,” a doggy dock diving show and high flying frisbee dog show, and the Bar C Ranch Petting Zoo and camel rides will be on the football field.
What: Bedford County Fair.
When: Today through Saturday.
Where: At the fairgrounds, west of downtown Bedford on business Route 30, which is West Pitt Street.
Admission: $9, includes midway rides, exhibitions and grandstand shows.
What: Cambria County Fair.
When: Sept. 1-7.
Where: At the fairgrounds, old Route 219, half mile north of Ebensburg.
Admission: $8, includes grandstand shows, midway, parking, rides, livestock barns, agriculture and annex buildings.
What: Somerset County Fair.
When: Aug. 17-24.
Where: At the fairgrounds, 7842 Mount Davis Road, Meyersdale.
Admission: $8. Free for those younger than age 2.
What: Indiana County Fair.
When: Aug. 25-31.
Where: At the fairgrounds, 700 Carter Ave., Indiana.
Admission: Free Aug. 25; $8 Aug. 26-31. Free for those younger than age 2.