County fair gets rolling

Animals, fun, bull riding among the draws at Franklin Couty, Pa. Fair

Animals, fun, bull riding among the draws at Franklin Couty, Pa. Fair

August 19, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sunday was a day of relaxation around the Franklin County fairgrounds.

Parking was plentiful and only a few dozen people spread out among the arena bleachers to watch the horse competitions in the afternoon.

As always, the first day of the Franklin County Fair was subdued, with Sunday's attractions including a youth horse show, a horse pull and the annual vesper service.

But what a difference a day makes.

Beginning today, stables will be filled with livestock, baked goods and produce will crowd tables under the tents, and children will line up for rides on the swings and Ferris wheel, which stood motionless Sunday afternoon.


The first day of the fair always begins with a slow pace, said Gerald W. Reichard, secretary of the Franklin County Fair Board.

"Some exhibitors have started setting up, but everything should be in place" today, he said.

Melissa Varner, of Greencastle, Pa., and her daughter, Cassie, 6, lounged under the sun admiring the young riders competing in the horse events.

"She loves horses," Varner said.

Cassie was excited because she knew some of the girls competing from her cousin's birthday party, where she got to ride a horse on her own.

While it was Cassie's first time at the fair, Melissa Varner recalled coming often as a child, and she even won a photography contest in 1986.

Nearby, another mother and daughter also came to watch the horse show.

"We try to come every year," said Sue Clemence, of Chambersburg, Pa.

She said her daughter, Samantha Napier, 13, is considering competing in the event next year.

"We came to observe what we need to do. It's laid-back and a good way for her to start," Clemence said.

Clemence said coming to the Franklin County Fair has always been a tradition in her family, although she didn't expect to come back again this week.

"We used to come quite often when the kids were younger. The rides were the big attraction then," she said. "Hopefully she will carry this on with her children."

The fair has also gone through changes over the years to keep current with today's families, Reichard said.

This year, the fair board added a bull-riding event at 7 p.m. Thursday. Twisted K Productions will present the show, which includes bull riding, barrel racing and a rodeo clown.

Also new this year is the Colgate Country Showdown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, which showcases promising new country music talent.

Reichard said the fair commission decided to bring back the demolition derby and National Wrestling League, which were successful recent additions to the fair entertainment slate.

The wrestling begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and features notables like King Kong Bundy, Hillbilly Cousin Luke and Doink the Clown.

Before it's over, between 20,000 and 25,000 people will attend the fair at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club off of Pa. 995 near Williamson.

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