The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 13, 2014

Fair tidings | Annual expositions combine family fun with ag, livestock displays

JOHNSTOWN — County fairs are an ideal way to salute hardworking farm families while providing an opportunity to have good, old-fashioned fun.

Bedford County

Bedford County Fair will be held July 20-26 at the fairgrounds, west of downtown Bedford on business

Route 30, which is West Pitt Street.

John E. Holvert, fair general manager, said the staff has tweaked a few new attractions, but much of the entertainment, food and good times will remain intact.

“For the youngsters, we will be bringing back a kid’s pedal pull,” he said. “We haven’t done it in years, but we expect a good participation.”

Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. July 21, with the pull scheduled for 5:30.

“The kids will be attempting to pull  small sleds with pedal-powered tractors,” he said.

After an absence of more than 20 years, harness racing returned to the fair in 2013. It proved so popular that organizers are bringing it back this year.

The races will begin at 11 a.m. July 21-22.

“Last year, the first night was wonderful,” Holvert said. “But a late rain washed out the event for the next day because our clay track got pretty bad.”

Bedford will kick off fair season in the region, and Holvert anticipates good crowds as long as the weather cooperates.

“We will deal with what we get because people are eager to get out and have a good time,” he said.

Holvert expects an enthusiastic crowd to attend a contemporary Christian music concert at 7 p.m. July 21.

“This is being presented by the Faith Generation Worship Team from the Faith Assembly of God Church in Roaring Spring,” Holvert said.

Fairs are a result of farming, and Holvert is pleased to welcome Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig on July 23 as he participates in the Bedford Farm Bureau Cooperative Ag Business Day.

“Secretary Greig will be here at mid-afternoon, around 3 p.m.,” Holvert said. “He will recognize some folks and present some awards.”

Bedford County’s fair queen will be crowned at 5 p.m. July 20 in the arena.

Holvert said fans of the Bedford County Fair love their motorsports, and he promises that patrons will not be disappointed.

“We have our normal three demolition derbies during the week that usually fill our grandstand,” Holvert said.

He estimated seating capacity at around 3,000.

“All seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and gates open two hours before the events,” Holvert said.

Race fans also will have an opportunity to see the four-division stock-car race at 6:30 p.m. July 25.

“Fans will enjoy late model, super stock, pure stock and semi-late divisions,” Holvert said.

Throughout the week, visitors will have a chance to view livestock, participate in games and midway rides and enjoy a petting zoo.

“We will be opening our midway rides from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday,” Holvert said.

For the rest of the week, rides will be operated from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 10:30 p.m.

“That gives us ample time for a mandatory safety break,” he said.

Holvert said one of the biggest attractions throughout the week is food.

“We have a great number of vendors who offer just about anything a fairgoer would expect,” he said. “We will have the customary funnel cakes, hot sausages, gyros and tacos.”

Snyder Concessions of Bellefonte, Centre County, will be among the vendors. It 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. “We also have an Ohio vendor bringing his tasty cinnamon rolls, and the only other place he will be going is Clearfield County.”

Holvert said a nonmotorized attraction will return in the form of Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania on June 23.

One-price admission of $9 includes midway rides, exhibitions and grandstand shows.

Family Day will be held on July 21, and admission will be $5.

Senior Day will be held on July 22, and senior citizens 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 Jordan Hall daily at 1 and 3 p.m.

Other performances throughout the week include Elaini, contemporary gospel, Kathleen Foor, Rick Howsare, The Sharp Tones, Gabby Barrett and Biscuits and Gravy.

Somerset County

The 114th annual Somerset County Fair will be held  Aug. 16-23 at the fairgrounds, 7842 Mount Davis Road, Meyersdale.

Fair highlights will feature a semi-truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 16; the fair queen contest at 4 p.m. Aug. 17; Figure 8 Demo Derby Race at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18; Dave Martin Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20; Supreme Showman competition from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 21; four-wheel-drive truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 22; and Jack Fullerton Destruction Derby at 6 p.m. Aug. 23.

Carnival rides will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 18 and 1 to 4:30 and 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 19-23.

Musical entertainment will feature Dan and Galla from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Aug 17 at the grandstand and country rock band Leather & Lace from 8 to 10 p.m. Aug. 19 in front of the grandstand.

Baking contests will feature apple pies, angel food 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. 17-22, with all wood carvings auctioned at 8 p.m. Aug. 22.

Junior fair board events will include a Fair King Contest at noon Aug. 18 in the Decker Barn, Fair’s Got Talent at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21 in the junior activity building, Club Wars every night at 9 in the Decker Barn and a dunking booth daily.

Bands in the junior activities building will be Glory Guys, Aug. 18; Apostles Creed, Aug. 19; United, Aug. 20; Shane & The Rockollous, Aug. 21; and Willing Vessels, Aug. 22.

One-price admission of $8 from Aug. 18-23 includes admission, mechanical rides and grandstand attractions for those ages 2 and older.

Gate admission for children younger than 2 is free, but doesn’t include rides.

There will be free gate entrance to the grounds only Aug. 16 and free admission to the fair Aug. 17.

Parking is $2 at the grandstand on a first-come, first- served basis.


Indiana County

The 152nd Indiana County Fair will be held Aug. 24-30 at Mack Park Fairgrounds, 803 Hospital Road, Indiana.

The fair offers commercial displays, agriculture and home economic competitions, amusement rides, entertainment, children’s and youth activities and inviting fair food.

The event is a traditional, annual agricultural county fair  held the week before Labor Day, with a carnival beginning Tuesday, midway rides (Tuesday through Saturday), grandstand entertainment, Nojoe’s Clown Circus, wood carvers, a  train show, animal and livestock exhibits, 4-H and FFA, games, harness racing, demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, food booths, concessionaires and more.

Fair highlights will feature country recording artist Eric Paslay at 8 p.m. Aug. 25. Paslay has been touring the country, opening for headliners such as Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Jake Owen.

He is touring in support of his latest hit, “If the Fish Don’t Bite.” His music has been described as having substance and depth.

Activities will include modified and farm tractor pulls at 7 p.m. Aug. 23; crowning of Indiana Fair Queen at 5 p.m. and Harvest Home Festival at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24.

Midway rides begin Aug. 25 along with band night at 7 p.m.

Other highlights are stock gasoline and stock diesel four-wheel drive pickup pulls at 7 p.m. Aug. 27; Cheerleading Expo Night at 6 Aug. 28; limited pro stock and smoker series for tractors and big-rig semis at 7 p.m. Aug. 29; and demolition derby at noon and stock-semi, tri-axle dump, performance gas and performance diesel four-wheel drive truck pulls at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.

A train show, miniature farm show, Hansen's Family Spectacular High Wire Act and Kiwanis kiddie farm will be offered daily.

Admission is $8 a person, with children younger than 2 admitted free.

Parking is free.

Cambria County

The 124th Cambria County Fair will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 6 at the fairgrounds, along old Route 219, one-half mile north of Ebensburg.

Country rockers Parmalee will perform at the opening-night concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 31.

The band is named for the North Carolina town where  brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knox and longtime friend Josh McSwain grew up.

Parmalee’s country rock sound has its roots in the bluegrass, traditional country, southern rock and blues covers that band members grew up listening to.

Its debut country album is “Feels Like Carolina, and the debut single, “Musta Had A Good Time,” became a Top-40 hit on mainstream country radio.

Other hits include “Carolina” and “Close Your Eyes.”

Parmalee was a 2014 semi-finalist for the Academy of Country Music’s New Artist of the Year award.

Another country concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 1, but the entertainer is not allowing publicity until August, said Patricia Fenchak, fair manager for the Cambria County American Legion Recreation Association Inc., which owns and operates the fair.

“We’re thinking of having a contest to guess who is coming,” she added.

Other grandstand shows will feature street-stock and super semi truck pulls at 7 p.m. Sept. 2, pick-up truck pulls at 7 p.m. Sept. 3; small car demolition derby at 7 p.m. Sept. 4; large car demolition derby at

7 p.m. Sept. 5; and a monster truck show at 8 p.m. Sept. 6.

“There will be a pre-show photo-op where kids can get a ride in a monster truck for $10,” Fenchak said.

Fair organizers are once again offering First Bite, a catch-and-release fishing tank for children.

Nojoe’s Clown Circus, which features three rings of  clowns and acrobats, will be performing two shows on weekdays and three shows on weekends during ride hours.

Fenchak said that, weather permitting, rides will open at noon Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 6 and at 4 p.m. Sept. 2-5.

The $8 one-price ticket includes parking, rides and  grandstand shows.

Admission will be $5 Sept. 2.


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