'Farms, families, fairs, fun' await at Westmoreland Fair
Westmoreland Fair Secretary Michelle Long predicts that “if Mother Nature plays nice,” organizers can expect as many as 62,000 visitors during the nine days of this year’s 64th edition of the fair, Aug. 17-25 at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds, Mt. Pleasant Township.
Even with three days of rain last year, she said close to 58,000 fair-goers showed up to enjoy the amusement rides, entertainment, agricultural exhibits and festival foods that make up one of Westmoreland County’s most popular summer family events.
This year’s theme is “Farms, Families, Fairs, Fun.”
Returning to the fair will be many exciting action-packed attractions, which range from monster truck races with quad wars and a demolition derby, to farm tractor pulls and a rodeo in the Peoples Grandstand Arena.
New this year for visitors who would like to experience a birds-eye-view of the fairgrounds, in the daytime or evenings, will be helicopter rides.
“If you ever wanted to see the fair from above, now’s your chance,” Long says
There is an additional fee for the five- to six-minute flight; daily times will vary.
For those folks who prefer to keep their feet close to the ground, a casual ride on a camel from the Bar C Ranch might be preferable.
Long says camel rides are quite popular at the fair, especially with kids, and they’re affordable.
One new spectator event sure to attract attention – and admission is free – is the fair’s first Westmoreland Fair King Contest to be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Excela Health Show Arena.
While guys vie for the title, fair guests can help select Mr. Congeniality by voting for their favorite contestant with a small monetary donation that will go toward continuation of the king contest program.
The annual Westmoreland Fair Queen Contest will take place the evening before the king competition, at 7 p.m. Aug. 17.
In the spotlight
A variety of performers will entertain fair audiences in the Show Arena; most concerts and programs are included with admission
Headliners will include acoustic musician David Koynok at 7 p.m. Aug. 19, East Coast Turnaround band from Jeannette at 7 p.m. Aug. 21, Dan Galla Musical Show at 3 p.m. Aug. 22, and Ultimate Bash with the Saddle Up Band at 7 p.m. Aug. 25.
In addition to the entertainment, a number of daily 4-H competitions and exhibits will carry on the Westmoreland Fair tradition.
Judged events include 4-H and open class llamas, 4-H pet care show, modeling contest, market steers/beef showmanship, bicycle rodeo, fur feathers showmanship finale and more.
A daily schedule is available on the fair website.
Long also encourages visitors not to forget about the festival foods. A variety of vendors will have taste treats ranging from pizza to chocolate-covered bacon.
“At one booth, they put chocolate on everything – cheesecake, cookies, peanut butter cups, everything!” she says. That booth – sure to be a favorite – is appropriately titled Everything Chocolate.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.