The 65th annual Fayette County Fair runs July 25-Aug. 3, bringing thousands of people to the fairgrounds in Dunbar Township where they can enjoy the best in local agriculture and entertainment.
“We feel we have one of the top fairs in the region,’’ said Bill Jackson, fair board president, during this year’s preview luncheon, later noting last year’s attendance was about 88,000.
Entertainment brings many to the fair. This year’s headliners are country singer Jo Dee Messina, The Clarks with Connellsville native Scott Blasey, Fabulous Hubcaps and American Idol finalist Gabby Barrett while local bands will play throughout the fair.
Chevron Outdoor Arena shows are a big attraction. This year includes demolition derbies, garden tractor and dead weight tractor pulls, stock, heavy hauler and pick up pulls, motocross, tractor and truck pulls, Monster Trucks, rodeo, and Mud Mania.
Many come for the Family Area shows that will feature Extreme Illusions & Escapes, Axe Women Loggers of Maine, Bears of Beardise Ranch, Danny Grant’s Cowboy Circus, The Barn Yard Petting Zoo, R&S Woodcarving and fan favorite Pigs Gone Wild Racing Pigs.
The Youth Building also draws with activities this year that include an escape room, LEGO building, geocaching, farming simulation video game, drone demonstrations, Fab Lab Maker, engineering design challenge and a new Fayette County Food Challenge that’s similar to the TV show “Chopped.’’ Master Gardeners and 4-H clubs will have displays, demonstrations and answer questions.
On opening night, 2018 fair queen Mikaela Kamp crowns her successor. Kamp and Kelsey Kiel, 2018 fair princess, both spoke at the preview luncheon, thanking all who gave support.
Kiel remarked, “Ever since I was in a stroller, the 10 days of the fair are incredible to me. I absolutely love it and look forward to it.’’
Kamp said, “I look forward to a fun, exciting, eventful and successful 2019 Fayette County Fair.’’
Other competitions take place throughout the fair, including a variety of animal, horticulture and home economics contests as well as lighter-side contests that include Family Fun Night on Aug. 1 with a new cornhole tournament and a horsehoe pitching contest Aug. 3.
A new farmers market will be held July 27-28. Fireworks are slated for July 28 and Powers Great American Midways will continue to operate the carnival.
Jackson noted improvements include updates to the restrooms by the main gate, paving projects and up-righting poles knock downed by storms.
The fair will see an increase in ticket prices with gate admission set at $15 while early bird admission is $13 until 4 p.m. weekdays only. Advance tickets will be sold for $12 at a variety of locations that can be found on the fair’s website at www.fayettefair.com.
But the fair continues to offer several free admission days when people who meet certain requirements can enter the grounds at no charge until 2 p.m. They include: July 28 — anyone with that day’s church bulletin; July 29 — veterans with proper identification; July 30 — anyone donating at least three canned goods for the Fayette County Food Bank; July 31 — senior citizens aged 62 and older; and Aug. 1 — grange members with proper identification. Free admission does not include the carnival and outdoor arena but upgrades can be purchased for $10 upon entering the fairgrounds.