ALCOLA — The Clarion County Fair opens today (Wednesday) for its abbreviated four-day run at Redbank Valley Municipal Park near New Bethlehem.
Shortened from its usual seven-day week as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, organizers, volunteers, vendors and many others spent the past couple of days setting up booths and exhibits in preparation for today’s opening.
Fair Board president Josh Minich said yesterday that many of the food vendors, as well as a company bringing in multiple midway games, arrived at the park Monday evening to set up. And Tuesday morning brought with it many of the livestock entries.
“The animals are rolling in,” Minich said.
This year’s fair will be without the usual carnival, but between the games company and local groups, Minich said an old-fashioned midway will greet fairgoers this year. The midway games will open at 3 p.m. each day
He added that most of the usual food vendors returned to the fair this year, accompanied by several new vendors. The food court area is being spread out more this year to help with social distancing.
“We have over 30 acres at the park, so there will be plenty of places to enjoy all the usual fair treats,” Minich said.
To help with the fair’s main shows, additional seating has been added around the grandstand field.
“We finalized the extra outside seating last night,” Minich said.
The grandstand will play host to the Motown and oldies band, Reminisce, tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.
Today’s lineup also includes the Pig Show at 8 a.m., the Lamb Show at 11 a.m., the Rabbit Show at noon, the Goat Show at 12:30 p.m. and the Beef Show at 4 p.m. The baked goods auction will be held at 5 p.m. in the skating rink.
On Thursday, the fair opens with the Horse Performance Show at 9 a.m., followed by the Dairy Show at 11 a.m. and the Lead Line Contest at 3 p.m. The Master Showmanship Contest, at the horse rink, will be held at 4 p.m.
The night’s featured attraction is the Derby Dogs Demolition Derby, with compact car classes starting at 7 p.m.
Friday’s schedule offers the Antique Tractor Show from noon to 5 p.m., and the Livestock Sale at 5 p.m.
On the grandstand field, the Antique Tractor Pull gets underway at 6 p.m., while the Truck and Tractor Pull begins at 7 p.m.
Fair Week concludes on Saturday with the Open Horse Show Games at 9 a.m. and the Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull at 11 a.m.
The Derby Dogs Demolition Derby returns to the grandstand at 6 p.m. with trucks, mini-vans, full size cars and the new windshield class.
Throughout Fair Week, commercial exhibits will be housed in the blue barn this year, which is open from 3 to 9 p.m. daily, and 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Bingo will be held daily from 6 to 10 p.m., with a special matinee added from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The fair’s entertainment stage will feature the Allegheny Boys at 6 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, as well as Jimmy Swogger & Friends at 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, the stage will feature karaoke and vocals with Leroy Walter from 6 to 10 p.m. And on Saturday, the band, The Rust Project, will perform from 7 to 10 p.m.
“They’re calling for a beautiful forecast this week,” Minich said. “And we’re excited to be having one of the few fairs in the state.”
Admission was reduced this year to $5 per person, which includes parking, admission to the grounds, and all shows and exhibits.
“Come on out and support the kids, the vendors and the fair,” Minich added. “We’re ready to roll.”