There’s something about a fair that makes you act like a kid again.
But what if you’re already a kid?
For some children, the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair isn’t a place that you go for a day. It’s a dayslong family celebration that the whole county is invited to attend.
Liberty Homan spent Wednesday afternoon building a crumbly palace in the sandcastle competition at the playground in the heart of the fairgrounds. She didn’t win, but Wednesday evening, she was back in the sandbox perfecting her technique.
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The 10-year-old Centre Hall girl is no stranger to the Grange Fair. Her family has a tent and comes for the duration. And it’s not a small family. Liberty is one of six kids, and nine days of fun is still nine days in a small canvas structure with your siblings.
Oh, but wait, there’s more. Liberty wasn’t building sandcastles at the fair by herself. Cousin Austin Fetterman, 8, of Penns Valley, was helping her craft her sandy masterpiece.
The sandbox is his favorite thing to do, he said. Liberty, on the other hand, likes the animals and the rides.
But that isn’t all there is for kids to do.
Fair librarian J.A. Babay tells campfire stories at the playground. She gathered the kids by her paper faux kindling and asked volunteers for kid-related and fair-themed words to fill in a Mad Libs-style story. A place at the fair? The Mr. Sticky booth. A fair food? Everyone loves pizza. A preschool song?
“Yeah, I know that was a long time ago for you,” she said with tongue-in-cheek sympathy to the elementary-schooler she stumped.
Then there are the games.
Rondi Chapman, of Howard, was left goldfish-sitting for her four great-grandchildren while A.J. Weaver, Crystal Foster, Lorelai Conway and Vanessa Wynn, all of Lock Haven, played after winning about 10 fish between them. Four kids? That’s a lot to bring to the fair.
“If I had more room, I’d have brought more,” she said with a smile.