Things are growing at the Fulton County Fair

August 16, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Krista Deshong, 16, of McConnellsburg, Pa., poses with her miniature horse, South Lawns Early Dawn, better known as Peanut, at the Fulton County Fair on Tuesday.
Photo by Roxann Miller, Staff Photographer

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. — Despite a flagging economy and state budget cuts, the Fulton County Fair is growing.

You'll still find sugary funnel cakes, hand-dipped corn dogs, bumper cars and plenty of animals to pet at the fair, but there are some new attractions this year.

This is the 91st year for the weeklong fair, which is expected to draw thousands to McConnellsburg before it wraps up Saturday night.

Fair board President Bryan Yingling said the number of fairgoers is growing, as is the number of attractions offered.

For the first time in the history of the fair, a full-size car demo derby/appliance race will be held today at 7:30 p.m.

"I have seen it on TV. But I haven't seen any of the other fairs around here do it before," Yingling said.

There will be six teams with four people on each pit crew. Each team must use 100 feet of rope to tie five large appliances onto their car and make six laps around the track to win. The winner gets a ribbon, he said.

Yingling said the four-wheeler drag races are back again this year.

"We had so much participation last year that we ran them until about one o'clock in the morning," Yingling said.

Anyone with an all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile can enter the four-wheeler drag races Friday. The race begins at 5:30 p.m. Signup begins at 3 p.m.

Attracting people to the fair is a way to preserve the area's agricultural heritage, he said.

"It's important that people come to the fair so farming skills can be handed down to the kids," Yingling said.

"If you go to the different barns, the little guys have a lot of fun doing this. They look forward to it from year to year. Most of the exhibitors' parents have exhibited animals previously, so they are kind of handing that down from generation to generation."

Fair organizers also are discussing creating a portable stage in hopes of returning musical entertainment to the fairgrounds.

"We used to have music at the fair in the past and we'd like to have it here again," he said.

Parking is free. Yingling said the admission fee pays for the operational costs of the fair.

"The fair is totally nonprofit. We just try to break even from year to year," Yingling said.

For 16-year-old Krista Deshong of McConnellsburg, the main attraction is undoubtedly her miniature pony.

"She is a novelty that people are stopping to see," said Krista about South Lawns Early Dawn, better known as Peanut.

The tiny horse was born March 27 and is no taller than a large dog.

When asked what makes them so different from their larger counterparts, Krista said matter-of-factly, "the small ones don't eat as much."

The petite pony already won a blue ribbon in a horse show Sunday and Krista is hoping for more wins today and Friday.

Showing bunnies was a family endeavor for the Lynch family of McConnellsburg.

Carlie Lynch, 10, snuggled with her 5-year-old rabbit, Babbit, in the bunny barn.

"They (rabbits) are more fun than dogs or cats," said Carlie.

She showed three rabbits, her mother Heather showed one and her brother, Ethan, showed two rabbits at the fair.

"It's something we can do as a family," said Heather Lynch. "Rabbits are quiet. They are not hard to take care of."

When she's not raising bunnies, Carlie said she likes riding the bumper cars at the fair.

"People should come to the fair and ride the rides and see the animals," Carlie said.

Lindsey Hollenshead, 9, of Needmore, Pa., posed for photos with some of the goats in one of the barns.

"I came to the fair to see the animals and ride the rides," Lindsey said.

She came to the fair with her sisters Chelsey, 20, Jenna, 17, Macey, 15, and her friend Kenadee Morton, 8.

"We live on a farm, but I've never seen a goat before," Chelsey Hollenshead said.

"I think it's good to see friends (at the fair), and it is really fun to see the animals, even though we do live in a rural area," Jenna said.

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