I went to my first Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair in 2014.
It was nice. I had a great sticky bun. There was good ice cream, good people, good fun. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.
But it wasn’t my fair.
On the Philipsburg side of the mountain, saying you are going to “the fair” means you are headed to Clearfield.
For 40 years, my Fair Week has come in the front of August, and I really can’t wait for Sunday. That is when my son will get to ride the merry-go-round and the Ferris wheel, when he will visit every sheep, goat, cow and horse and have deep, meaningful conversations with them. (I am thankful that he doesn’t care that much about pigs.)
I will wander through the 4-H building, checking out the handiwork of children learning the fine art of growing broccoli and canning jam.
We will eat way too many things that are not meant to go together, like buttery haluski chased with orange cream fudge. (Whatever you do, try the fudge.)
And there will be some of the best entertainment of the year.
Clearfield’s fair is known for its lineup, but one of 2015’s top draws has been pulled. On Monday, Little Big Town announced it was pulling three weeks of shows, including its Aug. 7 stop in Clearfield, due to medical concerns for singer Jimi Westbrook, who had vocal cord surgery in June.
The fair board is refunding tickets for that show while still working to secure “comparable entertainment” for that night.
The rest of the week includes crowning the fair queen Sunday; the parade Monday; a 1970s concert Tuesday including The Guess Who and Orleans; Theory of a Deadman on Wednesday; and a truck and tractor pull Aug. 6. A 1990s tour including Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker and Better than Ezra will close the week out Aug. 8.
Every fair has its own special personality, and it will be great to spend time with the old friend that is the Clearfield County Fair again.