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New competitions featured at 63rd Westmoreland Fair

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Craig Lash, Westmoreland Fair president, talks during The Westmoreland Agricultural Fair Association press conference to announce the new events for the annual fair at the Westmoreland Fair Grounds in Mt. Pleasant Township on Monday, July 17, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
2016 Fair Queen, Morgan Patrick of Murrysville, talks during The Westmoreland Agricultural Fair Association press conference to announce the new events for the annual fair, at the Westmoreland Fair Grounds in Mt. Pleasant Township on Monday, July 17, 2017.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Michelle Long, fair secretary, speaks during The Westmoreland Agricultural Fair Association press conference to announce the new events for the annual fair at the Westmoreland Fair Grounds in Mt. Pleasant Township on Monday, July 17, 2017.

Westmoreland Fair organizers put their eyes on the prize this year, adding several new competition categories for the 63rd annual event, which runs Aug. 18 to 26.

Backyard chicken farmers are encouraged to enter their eggs in one competition, and kids can see who can frost the best cupcake in another.

Entrants in the fair's home-brewed beer, homemade wine and apple pie contests all stand to win more prize money this year. Entry forms are due Aug. 1 and can be completed online at westmorelandfair.com .

Keeping the fair fresh yet familiar is evident in this year's theme, “Country Scenes and Blue Ribbon Dreams.”

“For the people in the agricultural community, it's an important event in their lives in the summer,” said Joann Logan, the fair's entry secretary. “We come together; we see old friends.”

Admission to the fair and exhibits is $7, which includes parking and access to amusement rides.

Craig Lash, fair president, said the event is as much a chance for people to have fun as it is for them to learn.

“We have the milking parlor where there's people down there milking their cows,” Lash said.

“As they walk through the barns, most exhibitors are more than happy to explain to anybody what this whole thing is about.”

Extra tickets are needed for entrance to the fairground's grandstand arena, where popular events such as monster truck races, demolition derbies and tractor pulls will return, along with a film screening of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Free entertainment, including a performance by Pittsburgh-based disco band Dancing Queen and the annual fair queen competition, will be provided.

Morgan Patrick, who won last year's queen competition, said she was looking forward to crowning her successor. It was an opportunity that opened doors for her. “I believe that with this opportunity, you have so many roads that you can travel, and I really hope she takes a hold of those,” Patrick, 18, of Murrysville said. “The world is hers.”

Matthew Guerry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2122, mguerry@tribweb.com, or via Twitter at @MattGuerry.

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