NOTE: This is the eighth in a summer series of Touring Warren County, highlighting some of the unique places to visit in our area. Places you think we should feature? Email us at [email protected]
PITTSFIELD, Pa. – One of the crown jewels for anyone planning a trip to Warren County is to make a stop at the Warren County Fair.
“We’ve got a jewel of a fair here in Northwest Pennsylvania,” Warren County Fair Board Vice President Dale Bliss said. “And we’ve done our best to doll the place up.”
Bliss and the rest of the fair board, as well as a plethora of volunteers, had a little extra time to “doll the place” after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 fair. The sadness caused by last year’s cancellation quickly turned to anticipation for a grand return for the Fair’s 90th iteration in 2021.
“We got over our sadness and the anticipation started,” Bliss said. “We wanted to go bigger and get better this year. We really tried to bring her up a notch.”
With the extra time, volunteers spent “hours and hours” working to spruce up some of the permanent buildings and make upgrades and repairs where necessary, according to Fair Board President David Wilcox.
“We had 35 gallons of red paint put on the barns and buildings,” Wilcox said. “All done by volunteers.”
Of course, the permanent buildings weren’t the only thing to receive an upgrade. The Fairview Park Campground was completed which brought in 53 new campsites to the Fairgrounds. The grounds now boast more than 500 campsites, according to Bliss.
One of the things the Fair Board is most proud of is the experiences the Fair provides for youth, especially those who raise animals.
“We’ve got some of the best youth on Earth here,” Bliss said. “Our mission statement here is to promote youth and agriculture and we’re so happy to have those barns open for those kids to complete their 4-h projects. Hardworking, young, respectful kids, come see for yourself.”
In addition to the farm youth, the Fair crowns a new Fair Queen every year. The 2021 Fair Queen is Katie Downs.
“This event really showcases the greatness of Warren County,” Warren County Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Dave Sherman said. “Warren County hits a lot of singles and doubles throughout the year, but every August our clean-up hitter steps in and knocks one out of the park. It’s a grand slam.”
While the Fair may hit a homerun for Warren County, don’t expect to find just any old ballpark dog. The Fair offers a number of options for foodies, including some traditional favorites.
“When I come in I always start with a sausage sandwich,” Bliss said. “You gotta quickly follow that up with some ice cream from either the Eisenhower Band-tastic boosters or the Warren County Farm Bureau Dairy Wagon. Once you’ve got that in you’ve got time to pick around. There’s a lot of food here and it’s all good.”
And of course, no fair would be complete without rides. Powers & Thomas Midway Entertainment provides a multitude of options for young and old alike.
The Fair runs through Saturday, Aug. 14. Gates open at 8 a.m. daily and the Fair closes at 11 p.m. Monday – Thursday and at midnight on Friday and Saturday. Rides begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children under 2 get in free) and include parking, mechanical midway rides, daily shows, pavilion shows and motor sports shows (except the Friday night Tractor Pull).
Bliss asked that all Fairgoers bring one thing with them this year.
“Bring your happy smiles,” he said. “We’ve all went through a lot. This is our time for fellowship. Maybe we’ll be a little more thankful for each other and treasure those smiles a little bit more.”