Ava Itle American Legion County Fair

Ava Itle, 8, of Loretto, keeps her calf, Honeybee, company Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in the barns at the American Legion County Fair at the Cambria County fairgrounds in Ebensburg.

EBENSBURG – For now, the 2021 edition of the American Legion County Fair at the Cambria County Fairgrounds is set to go forward.

The fair is scheduled to start on Labor Day, Sept. 5, and roll through the week until it wraps up on Sept. 11.

Board Vice President Jeff Kaylor notes that a lot of factors are still fluid thanks to restrictions and regulations related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ll be at the normal, usual scheduling,” Kaylor said.

“What’s still up in the air is exactly how they’re going to allow us to do whatever. We’re waiting for the Harrisburg folks to tell us what we can and can’t do.

“Other than that, we’re going to have the animals. We’re going to do something. We’re going to have rides. We’re going to have a good time.”

The fair is in the process of reaching out to vendors with contracts while negotiating with the companies that provide rides and attractions. All of the work going into relaunching the fair is subject to the edicts from above the heads of the fair board.

“The Department of Agriculture has been issuing stuff for us, what we can and can’t do,” Kaylor said. “The Pennsylvania Association of County Fairs, our big legislative body, is also passing down information for us.

“I’m sure we’ll have signs and all that other kind of wonderful stuff. We’re still trying to figure what they want us to do, and we’ll comply with what we’re supposed to comply with to the best of our abilities.”

The decision to cancel the 2020 fair, which would have been the 129th annual edition, came down in May.

“Officially, after last year, we were quite devastated because there’s an awful lot of stuff that goes into this,” Kaylor said.

“These kids are raising animals, and what are you supposed to do with them? It was a complete shock to the whole system across the board. Now that they’re going to be able to get back with this, we’re anticipating that everyone is going to be coming out in droves, we’re hoping.

“We’re trying to get it back to the way it was before all of this mess and that we’re able to provide, as best as we can.

“That’s why we’re in negotiations with how we’re going to handle dealing with the animals, so the kids that worked really, really hard get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Kaylor said that the board is working hard to ensure that this year’s happening carries the same heart as years past.

“Everybody comes to the fair to see this, that or the other,” Kaylor said. “We’ll have some really good food. I know the vendors are reeling because they lost an entire year of wages. Hey, I go to certain fairs for certain food, so when that guy’s there, I’m happy.

“That’s why we’re taking our time to try to figure out who’s still around, who survived and didn’t. We’re anticipating a good time to be had by all ... That’s why we’re committed to providing as close to a normal fair as we possibly can.”

Shawn Curtis is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5085. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnCurtis430.​

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