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It's fair time in Fulton County

August 14, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Shain Mellott and his 3-year-old son, Wyatt, hold one of the rabbits they are showing this week at the 91st annual Fulton County Fair.
By C.J. Lovelace/Staff Writer

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. — It’s fair time once again in Fulton County.

The open horse show kicked off events Sunday morning at the 91st annual Fulton County Fair, a weeklong affair that is expected to draw thousands to McConnellsburg before it wraps up Saturday.

Livestock barns were buzzing with people checking in and preparing for the fair’s various animal shows, which include exhibitions of cows, rabbits, goats, lambs, sheep, pigs and horses by hundreds of local children.

Three-year-old Wyatt Mellott was with his father, Shain Mellott of Harrisonville, Pa., inside the rabbit barn as they fed their two rabbits that will be shown during this morning’s show.

Shain Mellott said they got rabbits about six weeks ago, and Wyatt, who is showing animals for the first time, has really taken an interest in caring for them.

“He does a really good job,” Shain Mellott said. “He’s really into it.”

“They have a lot of rabbits here,” Wyatt Mellott said.

Patrick Bard, livestock supervisor for the fair association, said he expected to have 130 to 150 total rabbits for their show after everyone was checked in, which equates to about 75 to 80 children taking part.

Bard said the rabbit show was added to the fair lineup about 10 years ago, and the fair association always is looking to add new things each year, “to keep things exciting and moving along.”

New this year is the appliance race on Wednesday, Senior Citizens Day on Thursday and four-wheeler drag races on Friday. But the fair continues to offer a little bit of everything for everyone, Bard said.

“Everybody loves fair food — the cotton candy, the smells, the sounds,” Bard said. “You have everything from carnival rides to your favorite funnel cakes to seeing animals that you normally don’t have exposure to. Years ago, everybody grew up on a farm. Now, some of these kids never get to see a cow or a horse up close.”

A short distance away in the goat barn, Aryanna Lupey, 10, of McConnellsburg, was with her father, John, and 10-year-old sister, Alexis, prepping their goat Bullet for their shows on Wednesday. The Lupeys are showing four goats at the fair.

“It’s really fun getting to walk them around,” said Aryanna, who has been showing at the fair for four years.
Brittany Truax, 13, of Hustontown, Pa., will be one of the busiest people at the fair. She will be showing a steer, a heifer and two lambs, as well as helping her brother show goats, pig and a heifer.

A member of 4-H and the Chuck Wagon Group, a local livestock club, Truax is in her sixth year showing at the fair, and is a two-time reserve steer champion and two-time reserve pig champion.

“I’ve been really excited (for the fair),” she said.

Other highlights of this year’s fair include demolition derbies, tractor pulls, lawn-mower racing, 4-H/FFA Barnyard Olympics and Friday night’s fireworks display.

Parking is free and admission to the fair costs $6 per person or $8 to include access to all rides on the midway.
“In an economy that’s very tight, you can take your family out for a minimal cost,” Bard said.

A day after the Fulton County Fair wraps up, the Franklin County Fair will swing into action on Warm Spring Road just outside Chambersburg, Pa.

For more information and a full schedule of events for both local fairs, go to www.fultoncountyfairassociation.com and www.franklincountyfair.org.

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