Fair president reflects on another year

For 10 days the Lycoming County Fair has provided a multitude of experiences for residents of all ages and interests. For those in search of a savory snack, a plethora of artery-clogging eats, like fudge-dipped bacon, were being created at every turn.

Children, for the price of only $6, could glide down a towering slide and fly high on a swing ride, far surpassing their swing set at home, or simulate car crashes in which, thanks to the bumpers, leave everyone inflicted with nothing but a sense of fun.

There was daily free entertainment to engage guests. These productions ranged from musical performances, to acrobatic sensations and a late night fireworks display. If one felt the desire to satisfy their primal enjoyment of watching objects crash into each other, there were multiple opportunities to see a demolition derby in the grandstand.

Swarms of fairgoers have entered the gates in search of a good time. And fair-volunteer Rod Miller, who has been working the entrance gates throughout the entire event, is happy with the crowd.

“The weather has been pretty cooperative,” Miller observed, “And the crowds are getting larger and larger.”Lycoming County Fair President Dale LeVan agrees with a smile.

“Our numbers are running a bit over what we did last year, even with the couple days of rain,” LeVan said, “It makes us look forward to the future of the fair.”

LeVan always is looking ahead to next year – and even years beyond. In fact, the Hansen’s Spectacular Acrobatic Sensations, who were a big crowd-pleaser this year, already have been booked for the 2016 fair. But mostly LeVan takes notes throughout the week on small improvements or updates for next fair season. Another part of his duty as president is traveling to other fairs around the state.

“Last year I went to 15 different fairs, meeting a lot of people comparing notes,” LeVan shares, “It’s fun work.”

This year’s fair had a few changes from last year’s event. Typically there is a discount for senior citizens. But LeVan, being unhappy with the number of seniors in attendance, mandated a Senior Citizen’s day. Admission was free to seniors Wednesday until 4 p.m. And he is satisfied with the turnout.

“We had a good crowd. A lot of seniors came out,” LeVan shared, “They just loved it.”

To LeVan’s joy, one of his own was recognized for his outstanding years of dedication to the Lycoming County Fair.

Friday night, before the Youth Livestock Sale, the fair administrator for the state Department of Agriculture, Barron “Boots” Hetherington awarded fair employee James “Rocky” Reed with the “Outstanding Fair Ambassador of the Year Award.”

“Rocky deserves recognition for all the incredible things he’s done for this fair,” Hetherington said.

The staff of the 144th Annual Lycoming County Fair enjoy their work and consider this year a great success.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun,” LeVan said, “We really enjoy it.”