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Get ready for the South Mountain Fair!

Joanne Irvin

(8/1) The 90th Annual South Mountain Fair will be held on August 21-25, 2012. Wow 90 years! The fairgrounds has changed so much since those first years when the exhibits were housed in tents. Some things haven’t changed though. We still have loads of beautiful exhibits including beautiful needlework and crafts, baked goods and home canned fruits and vegetables, all made by some of the most talented people we know. No matter what the weather is every year the shelves are covered with beautiful fresh flowers and vegetables and the best looking fruit in the county. The amateur photography department has its’ own building now and continues to amaze us with the number of fantastic entries each year.

It takes hundreds of volunteers and several weeks of work to prepare for the Fair. Our volunteers are the best! They mow the grounds, they move tables and benches into the buildings and they display all the exhibits in the buildings, and much more. They make the Fair happen each year and it wouldn’t happen without these fantastic dedicated volunteers!

We have a full schedule of activities for all ages to enjoy. The barns are full of animals and there’s always something being judged at the barns. The 4-H/FFA youth have worked hard all summer to prepare their goats, sheep, swine and beef cattle for this week of showing. Most of the youth shows are held on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

On Tuesday evening the winning baked goods are auctioned and the proceeds from the auction will benefit a local charity. Come out and support this year’s charity and go home with a delicious pie, cake, or maybe some cookies or sticky buns. This year the proceeds will be given to the Adams County Cancer Patient Help Fund.

Wednesday night there will be the always popular draft horse pull beginning at 6:30 p.m. Also the entertainment in the auditorium will be the Battle of the Bands. The area’s best Rock Bands will battle it out in the South Mountain Fair Auditorium. The winners are chosen by the audience.

Thursday’s musical entertainment will be Russ & Becky Jeffers and Smokey Mountain Sunshine. Enjoy the music and fun of one of the longest and most popular running shows from the legendary Opryland Theme Park in Nashville. Russ & Becky and their band are truly talented performers and will bring an enjoyable mix of classic country, bluegrass, and folk music to their high energy and comedy filled show.

The fireworks has become a crowd favorite on Thursday night also. They begin at 10 p.m. and have been a spectacular show in the past. They can be viewed from just about anywhere on the grounds.

The South Mountain Fair welcomes country music legend and Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee on Friday night. John has been a favorite at the Grand Ole Opry since his induction in 1981. He continues to tour and proudly supports the U.S. military. John has had 26 songs that have charted in the top 20 and 8 number 1 songs on the national country charts, including his classic favorites "Rose Colored Glasses"; "Friday Night Blues"; "Backside of Thirty"; and "Common Man". Join John and his talented band for a great evening of traditional country music at the Fair.

Real Country, WHVR, and the South Mountain Fair present the Texaco Country Showdown on Saturday evening. Join us as the regions finest country vocalists and bands compete to advance to the State Final in Hershey and potentially to Nashville where the top prize is $100,000. Singers and bands wishing to participate may contact Tim Michaels at Real Country WHVR at 717-637-3831.

New at the Fair this year will be sheep shearing and wool spinning demonstrations on Saturday. Kate Bostek will be demonstrating wool spinning in the morning. Kate also shows her prize winning sheep at the Fair every year. The Friends Through Fiber Sheep to Shawl Team will be demonstrating sheep shearing and wool spinning in the afternoon.

There will also be a rabbit show on August 19 before the start of the Fair. About 500 rabbits are expected to be there. Also new this year will be 2 Myotonic goat shows on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. These goats are also known as ‘fainting’ goats because if they are scared or excited they may faint and fall over. These shows, rabbits and fainting goats, should be very interesting to see.

Registration of exhibits will take place on Sunday, August 19 from 2-4 p.m. and on Monday, August 20 from 4-8 p.m. Judging will begin on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.

In addition to all the usual country fair exhibits and shows there are also carnival rides and games for all ages. The rides operate from 6-10 p.m. each night with ride armband special every night except Friday. The armbands are $16 to ride as many rides as you want all night. And, of course there’s great Fair food to chow down on from cotton candy to full hot meals to bar-b-q ribs and the usual hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries just to name a few.

The Fair opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and closes each night at 10 p.m. All entertainment is free with the cost of admission to the Fair which is $4 for adults and kids 12 and under are free. There is also plenty of free parking.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this small country fair so we hope to see you all there. Mark your calendars for August 21-25.

For more information call the Fair office at 717-677-9663 and leave a message and someone will return your call, email or check our web site at