Today was the first day of the Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment. With things in full swing by the evening hours I headed to the grandstand for the opening ceremonies. Though I was running late for the ceremony due to traffic, I spotted a teenager giving his calf a bath. This is common throughout the week as the animals are prepped to be judged, but with the sun setting in the sky I had to stop and capture the light and the way it reflected off the water.
This year opening ceremonies focused on honoring former Grange Fair president Joe Hartle who passed away earlier this year. Everyone shared their fond memories of the man who dedicated much of his life to the fair and did a lot of things for agriculture. Joe’s widow, Gladys smiled and wiped tears from her eyes throughout the ceremony.
After the opening ceremonies it was time for the Grange Fair Queen Coronation. Nine high school and college girls competed for the honored title with their speeches in front of the crowd that gathered at the south side stage. Some brought props, others fun jokes and all shared memories of way their fair, is the best.
After deliberation from the judges the 2011 queen crowned the new queen who was full of smiles.
It’s that time of the year here in Centre County, Grange Fair and encampment has arrived. For those who don’t know Grange Fair is not your average county fair. There is an endless amount of awesome (and very unhealthy) food, rides, games, livestock and all sorts of contests. But then there are the tents and RVs. Over 900 tents and 1300 RVs. Grange week is vacation for many, and the tents have been passed down through generations and generations of a family. The fair opens on Thursday, and I’ll have lots of photos to share that will show off more about the fair.
Today was the first day the campers could move into the fairgrounds. It was building day, kitchens and porches onto each end of the tents. As I wondered the rows of tents you could hear the excitement from all ages as they hammered, sawed, and tied away.