Franklin Co. Fair offers choices for everyone

August 22, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |
  • Kelsey Stewart, 12, Mercersburg, Pa., gets her Boer Goat, Bailey, ready for Wednesday's competition at the Franklin County Fair in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Franklin County Fair is in full swing with the usual selection of cows, food and rides, but fair officials said it's more affordable than ever.

The fair, sponsored by the Franklin County Fair Commission, and held at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club off the Warm Spring Road in Chambersburg, Pa., continues through Saturday with plenty of sights and sounds for every member of the family, according to Robert Eckstine, fair board chairman.

Eckstine said the fair admission is $10 per carload every night except Friday when admission is $10 for 13 and older, or $3 for ages 5-12, and free for children 5 and younger.

"Fairs really are the same thing every year and that's what makes them special. There's food, cows, rides and that whole thing is about coming here and having fun," Eckstine said.

He said another draw is the demolition derby, which was not held last year but is back to wow the crowds on Wednesday.

It's the third year Mitchell Martin of Mercersburg, Pa., entered the fruits of his labor in the fair competition.

Mitchell Martin said he didn't talk to his veggies or use any special fertilizer. The 5-year-old simply said he took the old-fashioned approach.

"We watered them," he said matter-of-factly.

He entered a squash, sunflower, a basket of veggies and Farmer Smurf the scarecrow.

This is the third year he's entered the competition.

"I think it's very important that children are introduced to agriculture and why it's important to take care of our land," said Mitchell's mother, Erin.

"Things have really changed today to what it was even 10 years ago. Our society has changed. I don't think people are as interested in agriculture. Our school systems should actually promote children to bring things to the fair," said Berlin Stull, of Greencastle, Pa., chairperson of the hay and grain tent.

At the vegetable tent, it was a three-generation endeavor to register the entries.

Esther Beaver, Waynesboro, Pa., chairwoman of the vegetable tent, her daughter Karen Goodman of Chambersburg, and Beaver's granddaughter, Cassie Cravin of Chambersburg, hope more fair-goers will visit the produce rather than bypassing the tent for the rides and food.

"This gives you a good idea of what the market value for vegetables is and what people are homegrowing," Goodman said.

Kelsey Stewart, 12, of Mercersburg, was getting her Boer goat Bailey ready for Wednesday's judging.

This is Bailey's first time at the fair.

"I plan to stay overnight with her one night," said Kelsey, joking that Bailey might get homesick. "I think it (staying over) would be fun."

It doesn't matter to Kelsey whether or not she wins or loses. She said she'll be happy to place.

While Amber Pound, 15 of Fayetteville, Pa., dipped luscious ice cream to benefit Franklin County 4-H, she hopes people will visit the fair.

"If you come before 1 p.m. it's free. You can walk in and stay the whole day. Coming here gets people outside so they can enjoy nature rather than sitting in front of your computer and wasting away," she said.

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