KERSEY — Although the 2019 Elk County Fair saw occasional rain last week, it wrapped up with sunny weather and muddy activities Thursday through Saturday.
For more than four decades, the fair has been known for promoting farming and agriculture through its dairy booths and livestock barns. It also promotes outdoor recreation races, baking contests and local musicians.
Children were seen not only enjoying inflatable and mechanical rides, which were just brought back last year, but “Cow Town,” an agricultural trailer that travels to area events, kept them busy with hands-on, farming-related activities such as making butter.
The first-ever side-by-side drag races drew racers and spectators to the Al Dietz Track Wednesday evening, while accordion player Bubba Brennan performed on the George A. Swanson stage.
The mud bog and demolition derby races drew in their usual fan-base audience with full bleachers Friday and Saturday evenings.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Matt Gabler was the announcer for Friday’s mud bog. He explained the competition would have four classes, which are differentiated by the tires on the vehicles. The competitor that made it furthest into the mud without getting stuck would win.
The horse show kicked off Saturday’s activities, exhibiting local riders from groups like “Stride for Stride” Horse Club of the Elk County 4H Penn State Extension Program.
PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Willow Run Sanctuary hosted “Woofstock 2019” on Saturday in Barclay Square, marking their seventh year for the fundraiser.
This event benefits the animal sanctuary in Brookville and is the only fundraiser the organization holds during the year, according to WRS founder Margo Stefanic. The event is always held the second Saturday in August.
Since Woofstock is “a festival for dogs and people,” Barclay Square was filled with fun for both people and their four-legged friends to enjoy at the event. Both animal and non-animal related vendors were spread throughout the park. There was face painting, music, dog pools, bake sale stands, and a giant basket raffle. The bake sale stands had sweets for both pet-owners and their canine companions.
Trudy Garvey of Ruff World Training in Brookville attended the event with an obstacle course for dogs. The course had the basics of a dog obstacle course with jumps, a tunnel, and weave poles. Some of the more rambunctious pets tried to run their way through the course.
Tracy Hibbard Photography attended the event for the third year in a row, offering pet photography. She has a “doggie snack shack” that she uses as the prop and backdrop for her photos. She made the stand specifically for Woofstock when she first started photographing at the event.
“Dogs are better to photograph than people; dogs are happy with their pictures all the time,” Hibbard said.
She added that there was a definite increase in attendance at this year’s event from last year. She already had 25 customers, and the park was still very busy, while last year she only had 15 total by the end of the day.
WRS currently houses about 125-130 animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, a goat, pigs, chickens, ducks, a ferret, and ponies, Stefanic said.
The money raised from the event each year helps to feed all the animals and pay some of the sanctuary’s bills. With winter coming, the facility also needs straw bedding for the pigs, and food for the other livestock they have.
WRS is also always looking for volunteers. To be a volunteer, individuals must be an animal person, have means of transportation, a valid driver’s license and be physically able to hand lifting, bending and standing, Stefanic said.
REYNOLDSVILLE — Although Jeff Tech (Jefferson County Vocational Technical School)’s school year doesn’t begin until Aug. 27, its administrators and staff members have been preparing for it all summer long.
Principal Melissa Mowrey said she spends a lot of time getting schedules ready for teachers and students throughout the summer.
“This year, we switched to a new student management system, so I have also been taking time to learn about it,” she said.
Staff members also take calls from interested parents and students in the summertime, Mowrey said, adding that the school will accept applications up until the first day Aug. 27.
“This summer, we spent some time planning our Positive Behavior Support Program incentives for students, and I worked on some themed luncheons for our faculty and staff,” she said. “The luncheons are a great way for everyone to relax during the work day and enjoy each other’s company.”
Front-office staff members are preparing first-day folders for students that provide families of students and students themselves with important information, Mowrey said. Student oritentation is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 22.
Administrative Director Barry Fillman said summer is a time for grant writing for services, equipment and school-safety improvements, too.
“We are hard at work here, along with our teacher leaders, planning for the upcoming school year,” he said. “We continue to shape our competency-based grading system, as well as our school-wide expectations.”
Several teachers are planning to implement new academic courses, Fillman said, and have been building those cirriculums. A “Foundations for Life” course will be offered this year, as well as a new business math course in entrepreneurship and “Headlines and News” this fall.
Personnel decisions and staff assignments are also done before school starts, Fillman said.
“Our business staff goes about the process of closing down the previous year and opening the books for the current school year,” Fillman said. “Our maintenance and custodial staff prepare the building both through maintaining functionality and cleanliness.
“They all do a great job making sure the building is ready for learning experiences in the fall.”
For more information on applications, call 814-653-8265.