Children will have it made at the Luzerne County Fair this year.
For the first time, organizers will transform a special area of the fairgrounds into Kiddie Land, with free rides for the younger fair-goers, an ag (agricultural) activity tent, and exotic animals.
“They’ll actually get to plant a flower into a pot and get to take it home with them,” fair Chairman Brenda Pugh said. “They get to dress scarecrows, dig for potatoes, learn how to gather eggs.”
But those won’t be real chickens in the ag tent in Kiddie Land, which will be down by the horse arena on the opposite side of the arena from the barn.
“There will be exotic animals in Animal Alley,” Pugh said.
She would not give specifics but did say there will be animals not native to the area.
“Our petting zoo is down there – goats, sheep, all kinds of stuff they can touch and see,” she said.
The fair gets under way today and runs for five days. And aside from Kiddie Land, there will be something else not seen at past Luzerne County Fairs: camel rides for $5.
“If there is a charge for something, we try to keep it low.”
Of course, this being a county fair, there will be exhibits, including paintings, duct-tape items, sewing creations, photography, vegetables, plants, and flower arrangements. Then throw in animal and tractor rodeo judging.
“New to our barn, we’re actually going have longhorns,” Pugh said.
She’s also heard a rumor: “We may have an impregnated cow coming into the grounds, so we may have a calf born at the fair.”
The 51st annual fair also will include amusement rides, the high-flying Dialed Action Sports Team, 4-H Fun Horse Show, Fair Princess Contest, line dancing, Barnyard Olympics, fireworks and entertainment by the Tommy Guns Band and the Kentucky Headhunters today, the Poets on Thursday, That ’90s Band and the Badlees on Friday, and Shawn Klush and the Sweet Inspirations in an Elvis tribute on Saturday. Keystone Kids and Rick K and the All Nighters take the stage on Sunday.
Approximately 50,000 people attended the fair over the five days last year, Pugh said. She pointed out the crowds range from 30,000 to 60,000, depending on the weather. But she knows people will keep coming back, not just for the attractions and the fair’s affordability but to spend time with family and friends and make a few memories.
“That’s what we hope,” she said.
But she added none of it would be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who put in endless hours.
“We are 100 percent volunteer,” Pugh said. “The money goes back into the maintenance of the grounds.”
The fair also is a major fundraiser for the community service clubs whose members volunteer at the fair, she added.