Fayette County Fair kicks off with new website
The 59th annual Fayette County Fair will run from July 25 through Aug. 3 and has been electronically upgraded with WiFi, a new website and the ability to use credit cards on the fairgrounds.
During the annual fair preview luncheon Thursday, Fayette County Fair Board President Bill Jackson said the new and improved website started this week and includes facts about the fair, contact information, the fair schedule, information on the acts and shows and the ability to purchase fair tickets online at www.fayettefair.com.
“It's a great addition,” Jackson said, adding that advanced tickets won't be sold on the website. “We needed to update it badly.”
The website also allows the user to download and view the 2013 fair catalog. Printouts will only be made available to those who don't have access to the Internet. Jackson noted the online catalog is not set up to take entries this year.
Another convenience for fair attendees this year will be the ability to use their credit cards at the ticket booths since the fair has a WiFi set-up. The gate admission at the fair will remain at $13 with early-bird admission at $11 until 4 p.m. on weekdays only.
The admission price includes access to all the Chevron Arena shows, the carnival and the music shows. Children younger than 3 who do not wish to ride can enter the fair for free.
Jackson said the annual capital improvement project will happen after the fair. Plans are to upgrade the Fiddler's Building, which may include installing an air conditioning unit. He added that the upcoming upgrades will be made possible by a grant through the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.
Entertainment for the 59th annual fair will include regulars, newcomers and returning acts.
Jackson said people should expect the staples of the fair like The Barnyard Petting Zoo from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily; fireworks on July 28; Pigs Gone Wild racing pigs at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. daily; and the Powers Great American Midways carnival and midway.
Appearing for the first time at the fair will be Galaxy Girl, which Jackson said is a high-wire act, and Dan and Galla, a musical variety show appearing daily in the Family Area.
Daily acts that have been absent for years from the fair's schedule but making a comeback are the Disc-Connected K-9's World Famous Frisbee Dogs and ventriloquist Ken Groves.
Musical acts will include The Fabulous Hubcaps in concert on July 28.
“I hope they do just as well on Sunday night,” Jackson said, noting they usually appeared on another day.
An up-and-coming band will make its first appearance at the fair. Parmalee, with guest Clare Dunn, will perform at 7 p.m. July 27. The band has two hits, “Musta Had a Good Time” and the more recent “Carolina.”
Other concerts include Abacus Jones on July 25; The Clarks, July 26; Refuge, July 29; Julia Elise, July 30; Weedrags, July 31; Girlz in Black Hats, Aug. 1; Metro, Aug. 2; and Hillbilly Way, a band made up some members of the former Povertyneck Hillbillies, with guest Vanessa Campagna on Aug. 3.
Local singing talent competition, Fayette Idol, will return for its third year at 7 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 2, but the longest-running competition during the first night of the fair is the Fayette Fair Queen Contest.
Also Thursday, 2012 Fayette County Fair Queen Elizabeth Hendricks shared her memories of her reign as queen and encouraged any Fayette County girl between the ages of 16 and 20 to enter as soon as possible. The deadline to register is July 5.
Fair board member John Blaney said the Chevron Outdoor Arena will continue with popular events, including three nights of the Croushore's Championship Demolition Derby on July 25 and 30 and Aug. 3; tri-axle and truck pulls, July 27 and 29; motocross, July 28; monster truck races, July 31; Mud Mania 4x4 trucks and open vehicles, Aug. 2; and the FCF Team Penning competition and Bulls and Boys Rodeo along with a concert by Steve Smith Band, Aug. 1.
Blaney is also president of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. He reminded everyone of the importance of fairs in the community and added that a study of the agricultural and economic impact of fairs to the state will soon be published.
“You will be amazed how much of an impact fairs have in Pennsylvania,” Blaney said.
Fair board member Walt Bumgarner, who is also with the Penn State Cooperative Extension, praised the Fayette County Fair on how it values and promotes agriculture and 4-H.
“All the numbers are up,” Bumgarner said, adding that the Fayette Livestock Auction has the top three or four sales in the state and the largest steer show in the state, with over 80 steers this year.
“The animals and livestock shows are a big part of the fair as well as showcasing agriculture,” Jackson said.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.