Lycoming County Fair kicks off this weekend with rides, food, games

For most of the nation, July 10th is just another day of summer vacation. For Lycoming County, however, it is the kick off date of the 174th Lycoming County Fair.

In Hughesville, the fairground gates open to continue the tradition of promoting agriculture while also creating a family-friendly environment of food, games, live entertainment and carnival rides.

In his second year as president of the fair, James “Rocky” Reed rides around the fair grounds on his golf cart to make sure everything is in line for the incoming visitors. According to Reed, the best times of the fair are when he is unable to ride his cart on the fairground path.

“I love seeing when the midway is filled with people and I can’t drive the golf cart because it’s too full,” laughed Reed.

Dixie McCoy, president’s assistant, has been a frequent visitor of the fair and agrees with Reed’s favorite part of the event.

“The people,” explained McCoy. “Everyone is in such a good mood usually when they are at the fair so I really enjoy that.”

New to this year’s fair are the night hay rides that will begin in the fairgrounds and then loop in and out of the corn fields next to the grounds.

Those in attendance of the fair can make a loop within the fair grounds as well and see a wide variety of both food and craft vendors. Whether one is looking for a sweet dessert or a salty snack, the food options are endless. The wide variety includes: shaved ice, hot sausage, jumbo waffles filled with ice cream, sticky buns, kettle corn, fresh squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes, fried Oreos, and Greek gyros just to name a few.

“I have been coming here my whole life, I’m 30 years old,” said Chad Jacobson, Cousin Benny’s Ice employee. “I did the same thing every year. I got Gunzey’s cheesesteak, and then a snow cone and I ended with Ron’s cactustaters.”

The James Charles F. Greevy School Building is also open for fair goers who find themselves to be lovers of art. On full display, elementary through high school aged students’ paintings, drawings and clay/glass projects are spread throughout the building for people to enjoy.

Sarah VanFleet, Loyalsock Township graduate, visited the fair for the first time since eighth grade with specific goals in mind; one such goal being the art.

“I was last at the fair in eighth grade,” said VanFleet. “My nephew painted a picture for the art gallery so I wanted to see it. I also wanted to see the animals and get fried Oreos.”

On the opposite end of the fair grounds, animal lovers can see a wide range of animals from a petting zoo out of North Carolina. Making the trip up north, the owners brought goats, donkeys, a kangaroo, water buffalo and llamas for free petting or $5 rides (mini horses and camels).

Other animals that will be on display in a show or in the midst of a race starting this weekend include: cows, pigs, goats, chicken, bunnies and sheep. Not too far down the path in the Judge D.M. Larabee Industrial building, there will be tractors, crafts and collectibles and even Pampered Chef items also on display.

Similar to past years, there will also be a large section of rides and games for children, teens and adults to enjoy. Sunshine Shows provide, according to Reed, a fantastic assortment of carnival rides for everyone to experience.

Olivia Entz said she goes to the fair every year. “There are a lot of fun rides and they are spinny and fast. They just are fun,” she said.

On Friday, the country music festival in the infield of the fairgrounds is the event to not miss, according to Reed. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., artists like the Uptown Music Collective, Allie Colleen, the trio Honey County, Kelleigh Bannen and Grammy-nomiated Ashley McBryde will share their musical talents on stage. Tickets can be purchased on the Lycoming County Fair’s website.

Gates to the fair are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is $4 an adult. Children age 12 years and younger will be admitted for free with the purchase of a paid adult. Buildings and vendors open at 12 p.m. and rides open at 2 p.m. on the first and second Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Otherwise, the rides will open at 5 p.m., according to the Lycoming Country Fair’s website.

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