Kelly Myers painstakingly bathed her grand-champion steer, and for the 17-year-old South Fork teenager, Thursday’s moment was bittersweet.

“Moo-sorgsky,” named with a bovine twist after Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, was oblivious of his destiny.

Within hours, the beefy champ would be auctioned during the annual 4-H livestock sale at the Cambria County Fair.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years, and the sale is expected,” she said. “Still, it’s hard after all the time you’ve put into each one.”

But other than the twinge of regret at losing a friend, Myers rates this year’s fair, which wraps up Saturday, a success.

Fair officials agree.

“We’ve had great weather and very nice crowds,” said Ray Lenz, vice president of the Cambria County American Legion Recreation Association, which owns the fairgrounds in Ebensburg and runs the annual event.

“The 4-H has been a really good group,” Lenz said. “We’re very pleased, and they did an excellent job. I watched them show their animals, and they have so much pride and have worked so hard.”

Some concerns were voiced Thursday that daytime crowds have been smaller than in past years, and that some fairgoers complained about the $8 admission price.

One 4-H dad thinks that criticism is unfair.

“People don’t stop to think what that $8 includes,” said Dan Myers, Kelly’s father. “You get all your rides, admissions to the shows and special events, and the rides are unlimited.”

He said he is pleased with this year’s operations.

“There were some issues with 4-H last year,” he said, “but this year it’s going very, very well. Any problems there were have been worked out.”

Fair officials said they do not have attendance figures compiled yet, but their sense is that the numbers will be good.

“I can’t tell you too much on numbers, but it was very crowded last night,” Lenz said, referring to Wednesday’s attendance for a concert and fireworks.

“And I can say that there were lots of people here from outside the county,” Lenz said. “(Wednesday), I talked to a man from Egypt who was on his way to Penn State, saw the fair advertised, and decided to stop here.”

The fair’s $5 walking-around pass, which includes admission to the grounds but does not cover shows or rides, has been popular this year, Lenz said.

There was some confusion about when the pass was valid because of an error on the fair’s Web site, he said.

The $5 walk-around will be valid from noon to 4 p.m. today. It will not be offered Saturday, Lenz said.

The fair’s admission price went to $8 last year, but some say the midway isn’t as strong an attraction this year.

“I think it’s fine,” said Amanda Weiland of Duncansville. “The midway’s better, and the staff is working with 4-H really well.”

Today features the 4-H horse performance show at 11 a.m. and a demolition derby at 7 p.m.

Saturday is the final day for the fair, with the rides starting at 11 a.m. and concerts at 4, 6 and 8 p.m.

Trending Video

Recommended for you