Fair is up and running
FORKSVILLE - There it is.
Nestled amid the greenery of the trees, not far from the creek, and along the road, you can find it.
It's the 162nd Sullivan County Fair in Forksville, and the annual event is now under way at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds through Sept. 2.
On Thursday, the scrambler ride was twirling its riders, the cows were in their stalls, the food vendors were serving up all manner of fair food, and the exhibit hall was brimming with the bounties of the harvest, including a very large pumpkin.
"The Sullivan County Fair is like a small town fair, where a lot of the folks who come here come here year after year," said fair president Dev Wilcox.
People get to see old friends, and for the out-of-town visitors, Wilcox said there are plenty of first-time sights, like the Greased Pig Contest scheduled for noon Sunday.
On Thursday, Melvin Sherwood of Hughesville showed up for Senior Citizens Day.
He enjoyed the pony pulls.
"It's exciting," he said. "For their size, they really pull a lot."
For young people, the fair can be not just about fun, but about success.
Just ask Shelby Minier. The 17-year-old from Dushore was crowned fair queen this week.
"I was so thrilled, I really was," she said. "Tears came right to my eyes."
She had to write a 300-word essay and be interviewed as she competed for the title. She was asked, "what would you do if you became fair queen?"
She responded that she would go to places like the local elementary school and library and promote agriculture to children.
The teen believes that Sullivan County remains beautiful because of agriculture, and she wants children to appreciate that fact.
"I just love little kids and the environment and farming and agriculture, and I just want to share my love and passion of that with the kids," she said.
A dancer, she also teaches dancing at the D & K dance studio in Hughesville. The senior at Sullivan County High School is also involved in Dairy 4-H, Envirothon, student government, and FBLA.
She said the fair has many events this year, such as the demolition derby and the Redeye Rodeo.
Elizabeth Fluck, 14, of Forksville was named Junior Fair Queen, and was thrilled to hold the title. She thought the Sullivan County Fair was unique, small, and cute. And Junior Fair Queen isn't the only title she has held. She was a Little Miss and a Dairy Maid as well, and she aspires one day to be Fair Queen and Dairy Princess as well. Her goal is to be the first girl in the county to one day have all these titles under her belt.
The 4-H Rabbit Show was taking place Thursday.
The judge, Reganne Whalen of LeRaysville, said the quality of the rabbits was good.
"These 4-H'ers are taking very good care of their rabbits," she said.
Robert Rodriguez, 14, of Colley was a big winner in the rabbit show. With his rabbit, William, he was awarded Best of Breed (Netherland Dwarf), a first place award, and a Blue Merit award.
He has been raising rabbits for five years.
"It's fun, and just something to do, and the rabbits are cute," he said.
One of the keys to success, he noted, is to have a rabbit that comes from "very high class" breeding stock.
Erika Spako, 17, planned to show her Suffolks Cross market lamb, Burdock, at the fair this year.
The fair was a bittersweet event for her this year, since it's probably her last year showing, and "if I win, I win, and if I lose, I lose," she stated.
On the other end of the spectrum, Lauren Chase, 14, of Dushore had first in showmanship for Red and White dairy cows, and her cow won Junior Champion for Red and White calf.
"I was pretty thrilled because it's my first year showing," she said. "I learned a lot this year."
Today, the fair features Dennis Huber, magician and balloon artist, on the outside stage for a free show at noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.; the 4-H Livestock Show in the Barn Show Arena at 10 a.m.; draft horse judging at halter at 10 a.m. in the grandstand; horse pulls at 11 a.m.; Heart and Soul on the outside stage for a free show at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m.; the 4-H Livestock Sale in the Barn Show Arena at 2 p.m.; and the tractor pulls at 7 p.m.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.