By Adam McCully
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.”
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Here’s the thing about Ol’ Billy Boy Shakespeare, he died in the year 1616. If he were alive today, his idea of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” wouldn’t be about fairies or Greeks, it would be about the Jefferson County Fair, and it would be titled “A Midsummer Night’s Dream Come True!”
County fairs and summer nights go together like peanut butter and jelly, or bacon and eggs, or Tom and Jerry. Partly because nobody wants to be stuck on a Ferris Wheel on a winter night, but mainly because there’s the undeniable sense of community and fun that emulates from the sights, sounds, and smells (funnel cakes and livestock) of a county fair on a summer night.
The Jefferson County Fair takes place from July 17th through the 23rd and is chock full of exciting things for the entire family. The gates open at 2 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and earlier on Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The weeklong event kicks off on Sunday at 1:30 with an opening ceremony that will put the one in Rio to shame, followed by the crowning of the Jefferson County Queen and Princess. Afterwards fans will be treated to Horse Pulls and Mini-Horse Pulls at 4 pm. If there’s anything cuter than a Mini-Horse Pull, I haven’t seen it.
On Monday, the engines start roaring. ATV Races kick off what can only be described as a cacophony of motorized musical masterpieces. Following suit on Tuesday you’ve got Hot Tractor and 4×4 Gas/Diesel Truck Pulls. Wednesday brings out the Street Licensed, Work Stock, and Super Stock Truck Pulls as well as the Hot Farm Tractor Pulls.
The events get louder and dirtier on Thursday with Car and Truck Mud Bogging, while Friday brings a whole new type of skill to the arena with the Rawhide Professional Rodeo. Of course, you always save your best events for last and that’s exactly what the Jefferson County Fair has done with the crowd favorites, the Demolition Derby and Figure-8 Races. There’s even a Power-Wheels Demo Derby for the kids!
But what if you’re not into motorized madness? Well there’s something for everyone at the Jefferson County Fair. You’ve got food vendors, craft vendors, artisans, live music, livestock auctions and viewings, pig races (yes, that’s right, I said pig races), karaoke, magic shows, a fiddle contest, and much, much more. Not to mention two county fair staples provided by Bartlebaugh Amusements, rides and games!
So what’s the price of admission for all this amusement? Certainly you’d be expected to pay $40-$50 dollars for this kind of entertainment, right? Wrong! $8 is the price of admission and that includes EVERYTHING! So let’s do the math. You’ve got a family of four and you want to take them out for a night of exceptional entertainment. That’s $32, which is probably less than you pay for a tank of gas. Except wait, the night you want to take them to the Jefferson County Fair is Wednesday, July 20th. That’s Family Night and ½ price ticket night so that ridiculous price of $32 gets even more ridiculouser at $16! I think it’s time I quit writing about the Jefferson County Fair and get some tickets of my own. You can do the same by visiting www.JeffCoFair.com.
Find more summer fairs and festivals online at VisitPAGO.com or by calling the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau at (814) 849-5197.