Farm animal shows, country and bluegrass concerts, amusement rides, truck and tractor pulls, demolition derbies, good food. All those things can be enjoyed at the county fairs being held across the Tri-State area this summer.
"It's a great, great bargain for a family," said Jim Lokhaiser, director of marketing for the Butler Farm Show, where the main theme is what he calls "the agricultural end."
Hundreds of members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America have raised cows, sheep, rabbits or chickens in hopes of getting the animals named grand champions at the Butler Farm Show; many of the animals will be sold.
At many fairs, adults compete, too. The Big Knob Grange Fair near Rochester, Beaver County, features a new contest for wine making. Those who enter their homemade wine on Aug. 22 will be judged the next day. "Winners will be posted on the opening day of the fair," said Bill Steele, president of the Big Knob Grange.
The Indiana County Fair again will stage its signature outhouse races, said Ed Nehrig, general manager of volunteer work at the event. Old-fashioned outhouses sitting on wheels each have an inside rider and four outside pushers who race in two-house,100-yard heats on the fair's track. Divisions include a regular outhouse race for males and females and a powder puff race for all-women teams.
Indiana also has a neat kids pedal tractor pull event. "It's like a tricycle," Mr. Nehrig said. "They're small tractors with no engines. The kids use their own legs."
Philip Rice, president of the Cambria County Fair, likely speaks for many of the fairs when he says, "Everybody wants to see the demolition derbies. They have a car they're rooting for. People really get wrapped up in it, like a reality show on TV."
Even though Cambria County's fair can be more than an hour's drive from Pittsburgh, many local folks make the trip, he said.
So what attracts city people to the county fairs?
"No. 1, it's inexpensive, and it's a lot of fun." Mr. Rice said.
Check out the dates, events and admission of the local fairs.
CLARION COUNTY FAIR
The fair started Sunday, continues tonight with a concert by Mark Lowry and wraps up Saturday. Daily shows include Hot Dog Pig Races, rubber duck races, 4-H barns, firefighter training shows and the human/animal duo Have Monkey Will Travel.
Admission: $8; free parking. Free admission for senior citizens until 3 p.m. Friday.
Directions: Redbank Valley Municipal Park in Alcola, 1.5 miles north of New Bethlehem on Route 28 north, 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Information: 1-814-365-5179 or www.clarioncountyfair.com.
BEDFORD COUNTY FAIR
Daily family events include midway rides and an animal show.
Music shows include The Sharp Tones, '50s and '60s music, tonight; The Packing Peanuts, rock 'n' roll, Friday; and Biscuits and Gravy, bluegrass, Saturday.
Admission: $9 daily; $3 for parking.
Directions: Pennsylvania Turnpike east to Bedford, then take Route 220 south to Route 30. The Bedford County Fairgrounds are west of Bedford on Business Route 30, West Pitt Street.
Information: 1-814-623-9011 or www.bedford-fair.com.
FAYETTE COUNTY FAIR
Today through Aug. 3.
Daily events include Pigs Gone Wild racing, Disc-Connected K9's-World Famous Frisbee Dogs, Galaxy Girl and The Barnyard Petting Zoo.
The musical headliners are The Clarks in concert with guests Tres Lads (Friday); Parmalee (Saturday), The Fabulous Hubcaps (Sunday); Hillbilly Way with guest Vanessa Campagna, Aug. 3.
Motor sports include demolition derbies (today, Tuesday and Aug. 3); motocross races (Sunday); stock semi and tri-axle truck pull (Monday); and monster truck races (Tuesday). If rodeo is your favorite, attend the Boys & Bulls Rodeo on Aug. 1.
Admission: $13, early bird admission weekdays only $11 until 4 p.m. (except today); children under 3 who do not take rides are free.
Directions: Fayette County Fairgrounds, off the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Route 119, 20 miles south of New Stanton.
Information: 724-628-FAIR (3247), 724-628-3360 or www.fayettefair.com.
CLEARFIELD COUNTY FAIR
Monday through Aug. 3.
This is a fair with great musical appearances. Budding music sensation and Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice appears Tuesday ($35 track seats, $33 bleacher and grandstand seats); legendary rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd plays Wednesday ($40/$35); rising star Brantley Gilbert appears Aug. 2 ($42/$37); and opener Liotta and American ska punk band Less Than Jake performs Aug. 3 ($20/$15).
Daily events include Reithoffer Amusements on the Midway, harness racing and Johnny Peers & Muttville Comix. The Fair Queen Competition will be held Sunday.
Admission: $8; $7 advance, check website for details; $4 for parking.
Directions: From I-80, take exit 120 to Route 879 south to Route 322 west; follow signs. The fair is at the Driving Park, off Mill Road and Turnpike Road.
Ticket office: 1-814-765-1749.
Information: 1-814-765-4629 or www.clearfieldcountyfair.com.
GREENE COUNTY FAIR
Opening day brings a 5 p.m. vespers service led by the Rev. Don Wilson and the Daughters of Grace at 6 p.m. while daily rides start Aug. 5 and run from 5-11 p.m. daily through Aug. 10. Other events available Aug. 6-10 include free monster truck rides from 5-10 p.m. and a barnyard petting zoo.
Other attractions include horse shows (Aug. 4); lawn and garden tractor pull (Aug. 5); truck and/or tractor pulls (Aug. 6, 7 and 10); and harness racing (Aug. 8-9).
Music will be provided by Rustic Highway Band (Aug. 5), The Ruff Creek Band (Aug. 7) and The Chris Higbee Band (Aug. 8).
Admission: $8; Aug. 8, noon-5 p.m., free admission to seniors age 65 and older with IDs.
Directions: Waynesburg exit off I-79 to Route 21 and the Greene County Fairgrounds.
Information: 724-627-4752 or www.greenecountyfair.org.
BUTLER FARM SHOW
The Farm Show has daily activities of animal shows and later sales of the champions and reserve champions by kids belonging to 4-H or Future Farmers of America. There is also the sale of farm-produced items like canned and baked vegetable products and arts and crafts.
Daily concerts include the Allegheny Drifts (Aug. 5), No Back Road (Aug. 6), young singer Lindsey Erin (Aug. 7), The Wrangler Band (Aug. 8), David Allen and the Roadworks Band (Aug. 9), a fiddling contest (Aug. 10) and Diamonds in the Rust (Aug. 10).
Daily events include shows by Wild World of Animals, magician/comedian Dr. Smart, and "moogician" Billy Bob Steinberg.
Directions: Take I-79 north to the Evans City exit; follow Route 528 to Route 68. Farm Show grounds are on Route 68, three miles west of Butler.
Information: 724-482-4000 or www.butlerfarmshow.com.
WASHINGTON COUNTY AGRICULTURAL FAIR
This fair begins with a lawn and garden tractor pull at 9 a.m. Aug. 10 and a number of baking contests, including the cocoa cookie contest at 10 a.m. and the Bisquick family favorites at 1 p.m.
Attractions include the fair queen contest (Aug. 10), a classic car show, doo-wop bands and Zambelli fireworks (Aug. 11), harness racing (Aug. 12-13), senior high bands and school bus demolition derby (Aug. 14), professional rodeo (Aug. 15) and a demolition derby (Aug. 17).
Among the musical highlights are the bands Refuge (Aug. 13) and Silent Partner (Aug. 17), the country band Black Horse (Aug. 11), and the southern rock group Joseph Sisters (Aug. 15).
Admission: $9; $6 Aug. 11, 13 and 15; senior citizens 62 and older free Aug. 12.
Directions: Take I-79 south to exit 41 (Racetrack Road); follow signs to the fairgrounds in Arden.
Information: 724-225-7718 or www.washingtonfair.org.
LAWRENCE COUNTY FAIR
Grandstand entertainment includes a free Elvis tribute concert and an antique and farm stock tractor pull Aug. 12, followed by stock tractor and street 4-by-4 truck pulls on Aug. 13 and truck and tractor pulls on Aug. 15. Also at the venue will be champion double figure-8 races Aug. 14; a Country Music Festival featuring Morgan Frazier, Frank Foster and Bucky Covington Aug. 16; and drag racing, draft horse pulls and truck and tractor pulls followed by a fireworks display Aug. 17.
Weekday attractions include horse games and a drill team. Also enjoy Lawrence County's Got Talent competitions Aug. 16.
Admission: $8; rides and parking included, grandstand extra.
Directions: Take Route 108 three miles east of New Castle to Lawrence County Fairgrounds, across from Laurel High School.
Information: 724-654-7745 or www.lawrencecountyfair.com.
Although the public opening starts at 4 p.m. Aug 16, inside exhibit judging starts at 9 a.m. that day, and animal judging goes well into the week with daily events. Other 4-H activities include the horse show (Aug. 17); pet care, cat grooming and showmanship (Aug. 19); the model rocket flight test (Aug. 20) and the public speaking contest (Aug. 21).
Featured musical performers are Totally '80s (Aug. 17), karaoke with Power Bomb Productions (Aug. 20), the band Switch (Aug. 21) and the band Twisted Fate (Aug. 24).
Motor sports include monster truck races (Aug. 17); lawn mower tractor and old school rules demolition derby (Aug. 18); 4-by-4 truck pulls and 5500/7500 farm stock tractor pulls (Aug. 20); figure-8 derby and '80s and newer demolition derby (Aug. 21); pro stock/super stock and mini modified tractors and 2-wheel-drive truck pools (Aug. 22); tractor pulls (Aug. 23); and demolition derby, compact and powder puff derby (Aug. 24).
Daily family events include a petting zoo, camel rides and a circus. Also be sure to catch the Farmers Olympics (Aug. 16).
Admission: $7; extra fees for some events. Opening day $5. Early bird admission $3 per person before 2 p.m. every day except Aug. 22 and 24. Children 2 and under free.
Directions: Take Pennsylvania Turnpike to Irwin exit and head east toward Greensburg. Follow Route 30 to Mount Pleasant exit and go south 6 miles.
Information: 724-423-5005 or www.westmorelandfair.com.
CRAWFORD COUNTY FAIR
The 68-year-old fair is one of the largest agricultural venues east of the Mississippi River and doesn't skimp on other entertainment either. Big-name acts dot the landscape and include Richie Fields (Aug. 18), The Band Perry (Aug. 20) and Rodney Atkins (Aug. 21).
The 2013 Crawford County Fair Queen pageant contest starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 18. The fair is full to the brim with daily agricultural events. Check the website for details. Motor sports action includes the USA-East Truck & Tractor Pull (Aug. 19 and 23); a rodeo (Aug. 22) and a demolition derby and fireworks (Aug. 24).
Admission: $5; under 12 free; 65 and older admitted free 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
Directions: Take I-79 north to Meadville. The fairgrounds are on Route 77, northwest of Meadville. The Crawford County Fairgrounds' address is 13291 Dickson Road, Meadville.
Information: 1-814-333-7400 or www.crawfordcountyfairpa.com.
SOMERSET COUNTY FAIR
Events include a bake sale auction, the queen contest and the Farmers and Merchants Parade (Aug. 18); the Supreme Showman Finals (Aug. 22); a pet parade and a woodcarving auction (Aug. 23). For rodeo lovers, see the Dave Martin Rodeo (Aug. 21). A semi-truck pull kicks off the motor sports events (Aug. 17), followed by the figure-8 demolition derby race (Aug. 19), 4-by-4 mud bogging (Aug. 20) and the Jack Fullerton Destruction Derby (Aug. 24).
The carnival is open 6-11 p.m. Aug. 19 and 1-4:30 p.m. and 6-11 p.m. Aug. 20-Aug. 24.
Admission: Free gate Aug. 17-18; $8 Aug. 19-24, includes mechanical rides and grandstand. Children under 2 free.
Directions: Take Pennsylvania Turnpike exit 10 to Somerset and follow Route 219 south to Meyersdale, about 25 miles.
Information: 1-814-634-5619 or www.somersetcountyfairpa.com.
Events include a princess pageant and tractor pulls (Aug. 20); a rodeo (Aug. 21); motocross events (Aug. 22); a demolition derby (Aug. 23); and horse pulls and truck and tractor pulls (Aug. 24). Performances include Two Legends of Rock-n Roll Show (Aug. 20); accordion player Pat Septak and singer Vanessa Campagna (Aug. 21); country music by Gatlin (Aug. 22); bluegrass by Out of the Blue (Aug. 23); Dena Allegra, Castle Country Cloggers, The Moore Sisters and country music by Hillburys (Aug. 24).
Admission: $8 until 3 p.m., $10 thereafter; everything included; free parking. Ages 60 and older free Aug. 21; under 2 free except for tickets to ride.
Directions: one-half mile north of U.S. Route 30 on Route 168.
Information: 724-573-4512 or www.hookstownfair.com.
INDIANA COUNTY FAIR
Events begin on free admission Family Day Aug. 25 with an antique motor and machinery show, an outhouse race, a kids pedal tractor pull; crowning of Indiana County fair queen, and Harvest Home Service.
Motor sports include a pre-fair antique tractor pull (Aug. 24); stock gasoline and stock diesel 4-by-4 pickup pool (Aug. 28); limited pro stock tractor and big semis pull (Aug. 30); stock semi trucks and tri-axel dump trucks pull (Aug. 31).
Admission: $8; free admission Aug. 25; children under 2 admitted for free.
Directions: From Route 422 or Route 119, take the Wayne Avenue exit and follow Wayne Avenue to Jimmy Stewart Boulevard to the J.S. Mack Community Center.
Information: 724-349-5508, 724-465-6703 or www.indianacountyfair.com.
BIG KNOB GRANGE FAIR
The 71st annual Big Knob Grange Fair opens with a parade (Aug. 27) with Freedom Area High School Marching Band. Events include ATV racing and a mud bog for 4-by-4 trucks (Aug. 27); fireworks by the American Fireworks Co. (Aug. 27 and 30); a horse show (Aug. 28); tractor and truck pulls (Aug. 28 and 29); small cars and mini-van demolition derbies with a new mini-van derby for women (Aug. 30). New this year will be Department 21, a wine-making contest.
Musical acts include New Moon Light band (Aug. 27); a local talent show (Aug. 28); Crows Run Band (Aug. 29); Country Hoedown, which is free square dancing on the stage (Aug. 30); and the Silver Eagle Band (Aug. 31).
Admission: Free, but fees for events at the track are $7 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under. Free parking. Rides are $15 total every evening.
Directions: 2 miles east of Rochester, Beaver County, on Big Knob Road.
Aug 28-Sept. 2.
This huge fair in Ohio predates the Civil War, and it has some great grandstand events that include a Demolition Derby (Aug. 30); a Truck and Tractor Pull (Aug. 31); and concerts by Train (Sept. 1) and Sheryl Crow (Sept. 2).
For kids, Old MacDonald's Farm and the Old Milking Parlor will be open throughout the fair.
Admission: Free for children 6 and under, $2 for youth (age 7-12), $7 for adults and $7 for senior citizens (62 and up $5 on Friday). $30 for six-day pass and $15 for three-day pass. Ride prices are $15 Wednesday-Friday and $20 Saturday-Monday.
Directions: The fairgrounds are in Mahoning County, Ohio. Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike west to Ohio Turnpike, to Youngstown exit, then to Route 224 Boardman-Canfield Road.
Information: 1-330-533-4107 or www.canfieldfair.com.
THE GREAT STONEBORO FAIR
Aug. 28-Sept. 2.
Featured entertainment of the 146th fair includes Northwest Pa. Truck and Tractor Pull (Aug. 29), a Demo Derby (Aug. 30), Tonny Petersen's Hell Drivers (Aug. 31), concert by Sammy Kershaw (Sept. 1), and Bull Ride Mania (Sept. 2).
Admission: $10 for people 2 and older Aug. 29-Sept. 2; includes parking, grandstand seating and rides; children under 2, free. On Aug. 28, free admission includes the grandstand.
Directions: Take I-79 north to Exit 121, the Mercer-Franklin, exit and stay on Route 62. The fairgrounds are between Stoneboro and Sandy Lake on Route 62 in Mercer County.
Information: 724-376-2852 or http:/stoneborofair.info.
CAMBRIA COUNTY FAIR
The 122nd annual fair kicks off Sept. 1 with two country music performances: Maggie Rose at 7 p.m. followed by Charlie Worsham. On Sept. 2, Labor Day, Dunstin Lynch offers a country music performance that is followed by fireworks. High school band night is Sept. 3 at 6 p.m., which also is followed by fireworks.
Motor sports begin Sept. 4 with a truck pull for vehicles of different classes, most of them street trucks. A smaller car demolition derby is Sept. 5, followed by a large car demolition derby on Sept. 6. Big Foot is among the top vehicles in a monster truck show Sept. 7.
Admission: $8; $5 Sept. 3; children under 2 are free. Parking is free.
Directions: Take Route 22 east to Ebensburg exit and follow the signs.
Information: 1-814-472-7491 or www.cambriacofair.com or, on Facebook, Cambria County Fair.
To learn about a 4-H program near you visit http://extension.psu.edu/4-H; in Pennsylvania, call 1-814-863-3824.
Pohla Smith: email@example.com or 412-263-1228. First Published July 25, 2013 4:00 AM