Paddling porkers just one Northeast Fair novelty

June 25th, 2015 2:00 am

First Posted: 6/10/2013

With names like Britney SpareRIBS, Lindsay SlowHAM and Christina HOGilera, Robinson’s Racing Pigs are bound to make audiences chuckle as well as cheer.

“We were lucky they had a week available,” Northeast Fair chairman Joseph Pupa said, explaining the cute little porkers are a late addition, taking the place of a farmer who canceled his animal presentation due to illness.

At the fair, which runs Tuesday through June 22 in Pittston Township, the pigs will run and swim in several races daily, motivated by the prospect of winning a chocolate cookie.

“We found out the pigs have a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe,” their owner, Randy Ross, said.

“Most people, when they think of pigs, think of fat, lazy animals that lie around all day,” Ross continued. “But they’re not lazy, and they’re very smart. You can teach them a lot.”

Speaking of opportunities to learn, the Northeast Fair offers many, including a program about butterflies, displays of bonsai trees and orchids and a Franklin Institute program on “flight.”

Even the specimens of fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs that local growers are likely to enter in the agricultural and horticultural contests can open a new world to fair-goers who might be unfamiliar with stalks of rhubarb or a plump kohlrabi.

“The purpose of a fair is to bring in a wide variety of ages and interests,” Pupa, the chairman, said. “If people like plants and flowers, they’ll be accommodated. If they like concerts and rides … if they like ‘blood and guts,’ they’ll be accommodated.”

Not that anyone’s hoping for bloodshed. The less tame aspects of the fair involve the demolition of different types of vehicles.

The fair also boasts a plethora of carnival rides — at least 25 from Reithoffer Amusements — and concerts, with musical offerings from the Beatles tribute band Beatlemania, The Grateful Dead tribute band Jam Stampede, the Caribbean/rock influences of the George Wesley Band and Elvis tribute artist Shawn Klush.

On Tuesday, the opening-night concert will showcase original music. To register for that competition, you can pick up a 2013 contest guide at various Pittston-area businesses or check it out at the fair website,

The contest guide also includes information about more than 1,500 fair-related contests, ranging from needlecraft to woodworking to making jellies. The most popular of these contests, Pupa said, are the baking ones, during which your apple pie or angel food cake might win you a chance to enter the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.