Somerset County Fair (2020)

Ellie Beale, of Johnstown, pets a baby goat during the Somerset County Fair in Meyersdale in 2020.

Head out to one of the area’s county fairs to salute hard-working farm families while also having old-fashioned fun.

The following is a list of fairs:

Somerset County Fair

The 121st Somerset County Fair will be held Aug. 19-28 at the fairgrounds, 7842 Mount Davis Road, Meyersdale.

“There’s some of us who have been going to the fair for many years, and it’s really a traditional thing,” said James Yoder, fair vice president.

“The fair is really important for kids who raise animals for projects, and it’s a culmination of the work they’ve done all year. It’s also a place for vendors and businesses to showcase their goods and services.”

Highlights include harness racing at 2 p.m. Aug. 19 and noon Aug. 20; power wheels derby at 5 p.m. and large-car derby at 6 p.m. Aug. 21; queen contest at 4 p.m. and farmers’ and merchants’ parade at 7 p.m. Aug. 22; small compact demo derby at 7 p.m. Aug. 23; keystone mini-mod tractor pull and Listie garden-tractor pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 24; Rafter Z Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25; farm tractor pull at 5 p.m. Aug. 26; pickup truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 27; and semi- and hot-truck pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 28.

“Rafter Z Rodeo is promising us something bigger and better than we’ve ever seen at a rodeo, and I think it will bring a lot of people out,” Yoder said.

“We have a big fair queen contest this year with five candidates, so that’s the biggest we’ve had in a couple of years.”

He said the derbies bring large crowds.

“We pack the place for those,” Yoder said.

“They’re a lot of fun. They’re loud, obnoxious and dramatic, and it’s what people like.”

Livestock judging will be held daily.

Baking contests will feature apple pies, angel food and chocolate cakes, cookies and brownies.

Chainsaw sculptor Mike Ayers will demonstrate the craft at 11 a.m. and 3 and 7 p.m. Aug. 22-27. All woodcarvings will be auctioned off at 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

Somerset Kiwanis will hold bingo from 4 to 10 p.m. Aug. 23-26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 10 p.m. Aug. 27 and 2 to 10 p.m. Aug. 28.

Carnival rides will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Aug. 23-27 and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24-28.

“When people come to the fair, they get to see and talk to old friends and family, and it’s a lot of togetherness,” Yoder said.

“We don’t have some of the big attractions that other fairs might have, but we are a family event. You can come out and walk around and see lots of animals and exhibits. It’s a quieter-paced fair.”

There will be one-price admission of $10 Aug. 23-28, which includes mechanical rides and grandstand attractions for those 2 years of age and older. Gate admission for children younger than 3 is free.

There will be a free gate to the grounds only on Aug. 21 and free admission to the fair on Aug. 22.

Parking is $2 at the grandstand on a first-come, first-served basis.

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.somersetcountyfairpa.com.

Indiana County Fair

The 158th annual Indiana County Fair will be held Aug. 28-Sept. 4 at the county fairgrounds at Mack Park, 750 S. Sixth St., Indiana.

Pre-fair activities will include harness racing at 2 p.m. Aug. 26 and 27.

The fair will highlight an antique tractor pull at 9 a.m. and modified and farm tractor pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 28; crowning of the fair queen at 4 p.m. Aug. 29; stock and gasoline and diesel 4x4 pickup pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 30; Band Night at 7 p.m. Aug. 31; ATV drag race at 7 p.m. Sept. 1; premier showmanship contest at 6 p.m. Sept. 2; limited pro stock tractors and smoker series tractors, big rig semi- pull at 7 p.m. Sept. 3; and stock semi-, tri-axle dump, open gas, open diesel and 4x4 pull at 7 p.m. Sept. 4.

“It has been in the back of our minds for a few years now to have ATV racing because it’s a popular attraction, so we thought we’d offer it this year and see how it goes, and so far, the response has been very positive from people seeking information and those wanting to participate,” said Ed Nehrig, festival general manager.

“Our derbies are popular, and they’re all family events.”

Livestock judging will be held daily.

Jurassic Kingdom, an interactive family dinosaur show, is returning.

“The one that we are having this year is going to be bigger and should go over well with the younger kids,” Nehrig said.

A Boone Hill Gallery chainsaw artist will be on hand.

“We haven’t had a chainsaw artist for a number of years, and everything he makes will be auctioned off,” Nehrig said.

On Sept. 2, the Cheerleading Expo Night will begin at 6 p.m.

“We’re busy getting the schools lined up, and we normally have between 900 to 1,000 cheerleaders in the program that evening,” Nehrig said.

He said for those attending the fair, the hope is they will gain a better understanding of the importance of the agriculture industry to the region.

“For many young people, they have never been to an event where they can get up close to an animal,” Nehrig said.

“They don’t understand what’s important in producing their food, so we’re trying to promote that. We try to mix education in while they’re having fun.”

Admission is $8, and includes parking, grandstand events, community stage, all buildings, access to all vendors and concessions, Kiddie Farm and entertainment shows.

Children 2 and younger will receive free admission.

“We’re eager to get back on track again, and we hope folks will come out,” Nehrig said.

“We encourage them to stay safe and enjoy themselves.”

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.indianacountyfair.com.

American Legion County Fair

The 129th annual American Legion County Fair will be held Sept. 4-11 at the Cambria County Fairgrounds, 833 N. Julian St., along old U.S. Route 219, one mile north of Ebensburg.

Fairgoers will see farm equipment, animal displays, rides, food vendors and demolition derbies.

“It’s just a different atmosphere for a whole week, and we’re hoping to see large crowds this year,” said Darrell Jones, fair manager.

Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 5.

“These are professional bull riders, and you get to see these riders once a year because there’s nothing like this in the area,” Jones said.

“It’s a good Opening Day draw for us.”

Grandstand shows will include a truck pull at 4 p.m. Sept. 6; street stock and super semi-truck pull at 7 p.m. Sept. 7; four-cylinder demo derby at 7 p.m. Sept. 8; six-cylinder demo derby at 7 p.m. Sept. 9; eight-cylinder demo derby at 7 p.m. Sept. 10; and KSR Motorsports Night of Fire and Destruction Monster Truck Show at 8 p.m. Sept. 11.

“We have our biggest nights when we do demo derbies,” Jones said.

“People want to be as close as they can get, and they go crazy over it. It’s amazing. The monster truck show is the biggest draw, and we run out of room to put people, so if you’re planning on coming, come early and get your seat.”

Rides will open at noon Sept. 5, 6 and 11 and at 4 p.m. Sept. 7-10.

“A huge part of what we do is 4-H, and the kids come up and spend a week there taking care of the animals, and that’s what it’s all about,” Jones said.

“For some of these kids, coming to the fair is the only time all year they’ll get to pet a cow, goat or sheep. It’s a nice way for them to see farm animals.”

The $8 one-price ticket includes parking, rides, grandstand shows, livestock and agriculture events and exhibits.

“As far as value for your dollar, I don’t know how you can beat it,” Jones said.

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.cambriacofair.com/events.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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