FINDLEY TOWNSHIP —
The annual Mercer County Grange Fair is celebrating its golden anniversary this year, with the official observance on Wednesday.
Preliminary events were held Saturday and Sunday but grandstand events will begin today.
“There’s so much going on,” said Rachel Richardson, grange fair board member. “There really is something for everyone.”
This year’s fair is called “Treasure Your Memories.” Special souvenir cups and T-shirts commemorating its 50 years will be sold, Richardson added.
The events are $5, unless viewers want a seat in the pit, which costs $10. However, individuals can watch grandstand events for free on Wednesday, the fair’s 50-years celebration day, Richardson said.
Parking and all exhibits also are free, she noted.
• Today: Entry Day, with animal entries from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the barn; and noon to 7 p.m. in the rabbit building. Exhibit entries from noon to 8 p.m. in the exhibit building.
The grandstand event will be an antique tractor pull at 7 p.m.
• Tuesday: Parade and Judging Day, with judging of entries in the exhibit building at 9 a.m.; and a youth show at 9 a.m.
Exhibits and rides will open to the public at 5 p.m.
The parade starts at 7 p.m., with lineup beginning at 5:30 p.m. on East Butler Street near Mercer United Methodist Church.
There will also be a rabbit jumping demonstration at 7 p.m.
• Wednesday: 50th anniversary celebration in the grandstand begins at 9 a.m. with a mini horse, mini mule and mini donkey show, followed by a goat show. A lineup of music will include Chuck Thorpe and Friends, 7 p.m.; Slim Brothers, 7:45 p.m.; and Weaver Believers, 8:15 p.m.
Richardson said citations will be awarded for the grange fair’s anniversary by county Commissioner John Lechner, on behalf of the commissioners; state Reps. Dick Stevenson and Michelle Brooks, on behalf of the state House of Representatives; and state Sen. Bob Robbins, on behalf of the state Senate.
Recipients of the Outstanding Fair Ambassador Award also will be announced. Last year’s recipient was Bob Cameron, co-chair of the grange fair board, Richardson said.
The emcee for the presentations will be Hendley D. Hoge, director of the Mercer Community Band.
State Secretary of Agriculture George Greig will attend and fair officials hope to see an invited member of Gov. Tom Corbett’s office at the ceremony, Richardson noted.
The fair began in 1965, with junior granges taking turns hosting the event until the county grange got its own location on Route 58 in Findley Township.
• Thursday: Truck and tractor pull in the grandstand at 7 p.m. Earlier/other events include a dairy cow show at 9 a.m., followed by a beef cattle show and poultry and pigeon judging; Olde Town Barbershop singers and pet parade, both 6 p.m.; and rabbit jumping demonstration, 7 p.m.
ä Friday: Truck and tractor pull in the grandstand, 7 p.m. Earlier/other events include a sheep show at 9 a.m., followed by a swine show; and rabbit jumping demonstration, 7 p.m.
• Saturday: Mud bog at 9 a.m.; and demolition derby at 7 p.m., both in the Grandstand, followed by fireworks sponsored by Shiloh Ministries.
The Frances Kitchen will be open during the week “for a home-cooked meal,” Richardson said, noting the kitchen is named after Frances Steese, who ran the kitchen for many years.
Sandwiches will be served as well as meals, such as ham loaf, chicken and biscuits, chicken pies, baked fish and roast beef, Richardson said. Braised steak, a fair favorite, will be served for dinner Saturday.
The kitchen will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For a detailed listing of fair events, visit www.mercercountygrangefair.net