County fair caters to kids, offers price cut

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Eager children enjoy the swings during the Lycoming County Fair Thursday.

Between a simulated dinosaur show, pig races every night and an agriculture-themed mini golf course, this year’s Lycoming County Fair is more kid-centric than ever.

As fairgoers entered the county fair for its first official day, people enjoyed a lower entry fee for adults and children alike. Kids under 12 years old are free, adult tickets are now $4 instead of $6 and a row of kids entertainment, titled the Amelia Earhart Funway, welcomed families to the event with a number of free attractions.

“It was always six dollars to get in and while the kids enjoyed the rides at that price, we had a lot of folks who wanted to see the fair, animals and exhibits,” said Rocky Reed, fair president.

For anyone who wants to ride the fair’s 18 rides, tickets are now available near the front of the main entrance.

Reed added that the new kid’s row seemed like an obvious addition after making entry free for children under 12. “Every kid deserves to enjoy the fair and you invite all these kids here so now you need entertainment.”

The Amelia Earhart Funway, named after the famous pilot who Reed says landed about 30 yards from the festival grounds on May 14, 1929, will be officially named today at 3 p.m.

The funway is jam packed with new entertainment including cow

pie bingo, an agricultural tent with mini golf and corn sandboxes, a pedal tractor pull, a simulated animatronic dinosaur show and a pig race.

According to Reed, fair organizers felt that naming the grounds after the famous pilot would help retain the history of the landing.

“She was low on fuel, they fueled her up, and someone took her into town for lunch,” he said. “That’s something people didn’t talk about much. We didn’t want that to be lost.”

The fair’s popular petting zoo will also be a part of the funway, which Reed said always has been a big draw for families.

Many families were happy about the decreased charge, saying they felt they could spend more on food and entertainment.

“It makes it easier to enjoy yourself because you need to buy food too,” said Tammi Whitteker, of Muncy. Whitteker comes to the fair every night with her family and said family who didn’t feel like they could come with her were now more willing to make trips to the fair.

New to the fair this year is a Riepstine’s pub booth where the city brewery will be selling beer to fairgoers. While the fair hasn’t previously sold alcohol, those interested in having a drink can sit at the fair’s free stage and enjoy a show before seeing the rest of what the fair has to offer. Riepstine’s will be occupying the stand for the next five days and New Trail Brewing Co., also of the city, will sell its product for the fair’s last five days.