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Westmoreland Fair gets ready to roll

Marilyn Forbes | For the Daily Courier
Nick Ritz of Scottdale checks in Tina-Lepidi-Stewart of North Huntingdon at the Westmoreland Fair. Thursday was entry day. The fair kicks off Friday.

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Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 6:19 p.m.

Some brought one or two items. Others brought carloads.

All who came to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds on Thursday, however, came with the same goal in mind — to win a ribbon.

Anyone wishing to enter items for competitions at the fair had to meet an Aug. 1 deadline, said Entry Secretary Leanna Landy.

“A lot of people register in anticipation of what they might have, but it depends on the weather and what they actually come up with,” Landy said. Entries in some categories such as fruits and vegetables are weather and garden success dependent. “I do know that with the livestock, we have about 40 more goats, and the poultry has doubled, and overall, I'd say that the indoor exhibits are up.”

Landy hopes entries will rival those of last year, whose numbers were way up in both items and participants.

“We had 250 new exhibitors last year,” Landy said. “Right now as far as I can tell, we have at least 50 new ones this year.”

Dozens of fair superintendents were on hand to volunteer Thursday.

“We have fun doing this,” volunteer Catherine Ritz of Scottdale said. Her husband, Nick, is also helping.

Both Catherine and Nick Ritz enter items at the fair. Both have won awards, Nick for his birdhouses and Catherine for her sewing.

“This keeps us busy,” Nick Ritz said.

The entry office opened at 4 p.m. and many came right at the beginning to get entry tags and take items to perspective check-in sites.

“There will be a big surge now and then another one later in the evening,” Patty Graff said. Graff is with Penn State Extension office.

Graff said numbers were up in several indoor categories.

“I'm seeing some new faces here today, and that is something we always like to see,” Graff said.

The indoor entries will be judged on Friday, and the livestock will be judged throughout the week.

The Westmoreland Fair continues through Aug. 24.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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