Last updated: February 17. 2013 2:12AM - 26 Views

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This year you can glide above the Bloomsburg Fair, perhaps waving to your friends when you spot them in the crowd below. Your trip won't be a short one, either.


"It's the longest in North America," said Bobby Pugh of Reithoffer Amusements, the company that installed the new, gondola-type sky ride.


"It's 2,200 feet one way," Pugh said, explaining you can take the sky ride one-way or roundtrip, back to your starting point at the 157th annual fair, which begins today.


If you like wilder rides, there's The Stinger, which turns you upside down, 80 feet in the air. There's also The Speed, a ride that has you zipping along at 60 miles per hour at one point.


Too fast, you say?


Then please know you have the option of strolling through the fair, inspecting pumpkins bigger than your average wheelbarrow, letting your children play with sand toys amid the thousands of kernels in the "corn box," or visiting the farm animals.


"We get a lot of questions, things like ‘Did the brown-and-white (cows) make the chocolate milk?' " said Jeff Giger of Bloomsburg, the superintendent of livestock, who has scheduled daily tours to help city slickers learn more about the animals.


"We try to gear the tours to what a lot of people don't know," he said. "For example, goat's milk is good for cheese and fudge."


Giger has organized the showing of cows, horses, sheep and pigs, some 1,300 animals in all. "That doesn't include the chickens and rabbits," he said. "That's another division."


Animal highlights of the fair include a 4-H horse and pony team running and trotting in formation, in time to popular music, a gymnastics team vaulting on horseback and a six-horse hitch that will demonstrate the pulling of a Cinderella's coach.


That's just for the demo, Giger said. If people want to ride in the coach, that is an available concession, but two Percherons will do the job of pulling.


Last year's fair, you might remember, would have been the 157th Bloomsburg Fair, but it was canceled due to flooding. That makes this year's fair the 157th, and there's been a lot of clean-up and restoration.


"We've remodeled the horticulture building, agriculture and arts and crafts," Reichert said. "There's all new wood inside; the shelving is all new. I think people will be surprised at what they see in Agriculture; we have murals of the four seasons."


Some fair-goers may come primarily to see a demolition derby, hear a concert or experience a tractor pull. But, chances are, they also look forward to eating their favorite fair foods.


So do the organizers.


For Giger it's cheesesteak, apple dumplings and Sunset ice cream.


And for Reichert?


"I like hot sausage. I like the pizza," the chairman said. "What else do I like? Ice cream. I eat a few homemade pierogies, too, and fresh-cut french fries."


IF YOU GO


What: Bloomsburg Fair



Where: Fairgrounds, off exit 232 of Route 80



When: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Sept. 29



Admission: $8; children under 12 free every day



Concerts: Kellie Pickler at 7:30 tonight, Gaithers Vocal Band at 7 p.m. Sunday, Kenny Rogers at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Rodney Atkins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Brantley Gilbert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Billy Currington and Aaron Kelly at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jeff Dunham at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and Alan Jackson at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29



More info: bloomsburgfair.com


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