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Derry Township Agricultural Fair welcomes all exhibitors to livestock shows

| Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Derry Township Agricultural Fair committee has finalized the schedule of events for the annual community fair, and its members are hoping for good weather and great attendance.

The fair will start on Sunday, with opening ceremonies set for 5:30 p.m. The Market Sale and a performance by the Michael Christopher Band, both set to start at 7 p.m. July 20, will be the last events on the fair's schedule.

Fireworks are planned for 10:30 p.m. Friday, with Saturday set as the rain date, and the fair will stay open until 11 p.m. on its final day.

Livestock shows will be spread throughout the week, and the fair features nightly entertainment offerings ranging from offbeat competitions to live music. All live bands are scheduled to begin their performances at 7 p.m.

Admission to the fair costs $3, with children younger than 5 admitted free. Members of the armed forces in uniform will also be admitted free, and senior citizens can enter for $2 on Wednesday.

Fair committee President Melissa Monticue said tractor pulls, fireworks, the greased pig contest and the quad (all-terrain vehicle) rodeo have traditionally been among some of the fair's most popular events.

Roy Campbell, an agriculture education instructor and Future Farmers of America adviser at Derry Area High School, said his students have been involved with the fair and several former FFA members serve on the fair committee.

“Students have shown market animals. They've exhibited floral arrangements and participated in the (Derry Township Ag Fair) queen contest,” Campbell said. “Those are probably just some of the highlights I know about.”

The fair's rules for exhibitors differ from those at the Westmoreland Fair in that exhibitors in the Derry Township fair's open junior shows do not have to be affiliated with 4-H or FFA programs. Only 4-H and FFA members can exhibit at the county fair, Campbell said.

“We don't require that any exhibitor has to be in 4-H or FFA,” Monticue said. “They just have to be willing to show the animal and do the project and come out with a smile on their face. That's all we ask, and we have kids as young as 2 who are able to exhibit those animals.”

A karaoke contest and antique tractor pulls will follow the opening ceremonies Sunday evening.

Monday will feature a full day of livestock shows, including poultry, beef cattle, lambs, goats and hogs. Barrel-racing and pole-bending equestrian competitions and a new contest styled after the popular “Minute To Win It” television game show are also on the slate for Monday, along with the band Case Closed.

Tuesday is Kids' Day, with goat and sheep shows, Merrie the Clown, a milk-chugging competition and a greased pig contest. Skero and Jingles Band will perform that night.

A rabbit show, dairy cattle show and horse and pony shows are on the schedule for Wednesday, or Senior Day. Competitions set for the day are the pie-eating contest, a beautiful baby contest and a four-wheeler rodeo. Cathi Rhodes will be performing Patsy Cline's hits.

Horse pulls, the Westmoreland 4-H Square Dancers and the Aultman Brothers Band highlight Thursday's events.

Tractor pulls are on Friday night's schedule, along with a demonstration by beekeepers, Mandy the Clown and the Backwoods Playboys Band. A fireworks display will cap off the evening.

The fair will wrap up on Saturday, beginning the day with a bass-fishing tournament starting at 7 a.m. There will also be an archery contest, along with more tractor pulls, the market sale and the Michael Christopher Band.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913, or greinbold@tribweb.com.

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