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Washington Co. fair opens Saturday

| Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

As the rainy summer continues, Nadene Gardner is crossing her fingers that Mother Nature will cooperate during the Washington County Agricultural Fair.

“Every year, I pray for good weather and a good turnout,” said Gardner, who has served as fair secretary for more than 30 years.

With the theme “Harvest Your Dreams,” the 216th Washington County Agricultural Fair opens Saturday and will run through Aug. 17 at the Washington County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Chartiers Township.

Although the fair officially kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, a lawn and garden tractor pull and the Spam cooking contest will take place 9 a.m. that day.

Gardner, of Amity, said the year's theme came from the state fair association, and reflects the many years of success the fair has had.

She said the event is a tradition for many families who pack up their campers and tents to spend the entire week at the fairgrounds.

“We see generations of families return every year,” Gardner said. “It's great to see them each year.”

She said officials continue to improve the fairgrounds. Gardner said an old horse barn has been razed, the parking area has been expanded and a new roof recently was placed on the pig barn. The roof was damaged a few weeks ago during a storm.

Gardner said exhibitor entries have increased this year. Some new contests have been added, including a Bisquick baking competition.

Among the popular events are the fair queen contest at 7 p.m. Saturday; Zambelli fireworks, 9:45 p.m. Sunday; monster trucks, 7 p.m. Tuesday; senior-high-school bands at 6 p.m. and the school-bus demolition derby at 8 p.m. Wednesday; a professional rodeo 8 p.m. Aug. 15; and a demolition derby 6 p.m. Aug. 17.

Among the musical highlights are national country recording artist Colt Ford, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 5-year-old drumming sensation Avery Molek of Washington, Pa., 7 p.m. Aug. 16, followed by the Ruff Creek Band at 8 p.m.

The 50th annual livestock sales will be held the final two days. The market livestock show (goats, rabbits) will be 6 p.m. Aug. 16. The market livestock sale (hogs, lambs, steers) is set 10 a.m. Aug. 17

Daily attractions include a petting zoo, a carnival midway with rides, tractor and truck pulls, livestock exhibits, harness racing, and dozens of food and beverage booths.

Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Admission is $9 on Saturday, Monday, Aug. 14, 16 and 17. Admission is $6 on Sunday, Tuesday, and Aug. 15.

The admission fee includes all shows, entertainment, petting zoo, and rides.

The rides open at 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and at 1 p.m. all other days, weather permitting. Senior citizens are admitted free on Monday. Children 11 and younger will be amitted free until 4 p.m. Aug. 16.

Children 3 and younger are admitted free daily – if they are not going on any amusement rides.

For information, visit washingtonfair.org or call 724-225-7718.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at swolford@tribweb.com.

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