Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner

As I wondered through the tents from my car to the animal barns a came across the sunshine club singing and dancing for all to enjoy.
SunGrange02Next came my mission for the day.  To spend time at the junior market beef show.  Youngsters work all year on raising cattle to show in hopes of winning a ribbon and a monetary prize.  Then the animals are sold, and as the announcer said, these cattle can fill your freezer…
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Saturday at the Grange Fair

Despite the dreary weather to start the day the Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment was bustling today. The weekend at the fair is a big time for family picnics and fair goers from far away to enjoy the activities.

I started out by the tractor pulls, then wondered the grounds and the tents before ending my afternoon there on the ferris wheel for a new perspective of the grounds.
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Grange Queen

Before the Grange Fair officially starts, there needs to be a Grange Fair Queen ready to take on a long list of duties for the week.  Tonights pageant featured six young ladies sharing their favorites about the fair and agriculture.  A surprised and thrilled high school senior accepted the crown as her dress shimmered on stage.
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Grange Move In

The trailers were packed high and hammering filled the air.  It’s Grange Fair time.  With the first day for tenters to get into the fairgrounds they built their kitchens and front porches as they laughed with family and friends.  This will be my fourth Grange so I’ve gotten used to the impressive additions that are made to their outdoor homes for the week.  I even met a family who said they are the only duplex of tents on the grounds, as they built their porch to extend over both their family tents.
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2013 Grange Fair

Another Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair has come and gone.  Grange has grown on me since I’ve lived in Centre County.  It’s one of the biggest events of the summer full of many family stories.

The first day had an emotional opening ceremony in addition to the Grange Fair queen coronation.

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Fair goers with a sweet tooth have the best event on Friday afternoon, the baked good auction.  All the delicious treats from the baked good contests are auctioned off to raise money for the fair.
GrangeFri5 Throughout the weekend so many adventures for fair goers of all ages.  Family gatherings and games among the tents, animal dressing contests in the 4H barns and fun all around.

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Grange, Day 1

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.

Grange Fair Move-In

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.