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Hitting the skids at Franklin County Fair

Skid rodeo part of fair highlights

Skid rodeo part of fair highlights

August 13, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal can make a free throw about half the time.

During a free throw, there are no opposing players blocking the shot and the shot is made with the hands.

Now imagine trying to drop a basketball in a 55-gallon drum using the wide bucket on a 5,500-pound skid loader. A skid loader is a small vehicle with a bucket attachment to carry dirt, gravel or similar loads.

For the average person, the first obstacle would be figuring out how to operate a skid loader. But for the contestants at the Franklin County Fair's skid steer-operators rodeo at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, the major obstacle will be time.

Farmers and construction workers will compete for bragging rights on who can get through the obstacle course quickest, said Cory Forrester, skid rodeo chairman and owner of Forrester Farm Equipment in Chambersburg. The rodeo has adult and youth categories.

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At Forrester Farm Equipment, there are about six people who think they are the best operator, Forrester said, so the contest is a hot topic before and after the fair. Forrester used to compete, but said he's now a judge.

To go through the obstacle course, Forrester said, drivers must steer around cones, make a 360-degree turn, pick a basketball off a traffic cone and drop it over a fence into a 55-gallon drum, and scoop up a 75-pound truck tire, traverse rough terrain and drop the tire on another spot.

Less than three minutes would be a good time, he said.

Whomever completes the course the quickest wins. The prize is only $30, Forrester said, but the real prize is bragging about being the best.

The fair at the Chambersburg Rod & Gun Club grounds starts Sunday, Aug. 16, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 22. Entertainment highlights include tractor and truck pulls, a demolition derby, talent and karaoke contests, and concerts.

New this year are a chili cook-off on Saturday, Aug. 22, and a photo contest, in which the winner will receive a $500 digital camera, said Robert Eckstine, fair chairman. For a small fee, the public can judge the chili between 6 and 7 p.m.

Eckstine is hoping for good weather and crowds like last year. It didn't rain one night last year, and the fair sold around 19,000 tickets, he said.




If you go ...



WHAT: Franklin County Fair

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 16, to Saturday, Aug. 22

WHERE: Chambersburg (Pa.) Rod & Gun Club, 3725 Warm Spring Road, eight miles southwest of Chambersburg, Pa.

COST: Admission varies; $3 to $8 depending on age and day. Carnival rides Monday through Saturday, extra charge.

MORE: Call 717-369-4100 during fair week or go to www.franklincountyfair.org.

If you go ...



WHAT: Fulton County Fair

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 16, to Saturday, Aug. 22

WHERE: Fulton County Fairgrounds, 888 Lincoln Way East, 1/2 mile east of McConnellsburg, Pa.

COST: On Sunday, Aug. 16, admission is free. Other days: Children younger than 2 admitted free (no rides included). Ages 2 and older, $6 without carnival rides or $8 with carnival rides.

CONTACT: Call the fair office, 717-485-5730, starting Sunday.




Schedule highlights



Franklin County fair



Sunday, Aug. 16

6:30 p.m. - The Gospel Travelers perform at vespers service

Monday, Aug. 17

5:30 p.m. - Franklin County Fair Little Miss contest

7 p.m. - Franklin County Fair Princess contest

7:30 p.m. - Horse pull

8:30 p.m. - Franklin County Fair Queen contest

Tuesday, Aug. 18

7 p.m. - Karaoke contests. Sign-in, 6:15 p.m.

7 p.m. - Skid-steer operators rodeo

Wednesday, Aug. 19

7 p.m. - Talent contest. Check-in, 6:15 p.m.

7 p.m. - Truck and tractor pull

Thursday, Aug. 20

7 p.m. - Garden tractor pull

Friday, Aug. 21

7 p.m. - Truck and tractor pull

7 and 8:30 p.m. - Whirly Birds square-dancing exhibition

Saturday, Aug. 22

7 and 8:30 p.m. - The Bumbaugh Family sings gospel

8 p.m. - J&J Demolition Derby

Fulton County fair



Sunday, Aug. 16

8 p.m. - Fulton County Fair Queen pageant

Monday, Aug. 17

7:30 p.m. - Compact car demo derby

Tuesday, Aug. 18

5:30 p.m. - Little Miss Fair Queen contest

7 p.m. - Classic tractor and mini-modified truck pull

Wednesday, Aug. 19

7:30 p.m. - Full-size car demo derby

Thursday, Aug. 20

7 p.m. - ATV dirt drag races

Friday, Aug. 21

7 p.m. - Lawn mower racing, modified and stock models

9:30 p.m. - Fireworks

Saturday, Aug. 22

7 p.m. - 4-by-4 truck pull

8 p.m. - Teen dance

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