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“Look, a cow!” said one child walking past the livestock pen—and certainly cows weren’t hard to come by. At one point it seemed like everyone was leading around a cow, walking right down the dirt road with all the other patrons.
This added to the appropriate, grassy-hillside atmosphere of the 58th Annual Kempton Country Fair, held from June 12-16. A feature of the fair was two animal pens, one a tent for all kinds of poultry, and the other a larger pavilion for livestock like cows and pigs.
Showing off her animals was the best part of the fair for Hamburg resident Morgan Krick, who brought three cows—Twinkie, Tequila and Paisley—that had previously belonged to her grandparents.
The big event, naturally, was the tractor pull—where people camped out on the side of the nearby hill, in blankets and on chairs, to watch tractors and trucks show off their weight-pulling skill with their proud drivers. The vehicles had names appropriate for the occasion, like White Stallion and Sleddog and Rolling Thunder and Rage—all pulling a gigantic tractor bed named Terminator.
There were different classes of vehicles depending on different qualities, such as whether the vehicle was original or modified, what size it was and more.
“Our favorite ones are the Modifieds,” said Robesonia resident Brian Werner, who came with his young son. “My son likes the big horsepower ones when they go fast, and those are the ones.”
Oley resident Larry M. Knerr has another purpose for coming to the tractor pull: “to get ideas for our shows!” Knerr is president of the Old Time Plow Boys Club, and pulls a Farm Stock-class tractor at other events.
And the show started off like a tractor pull should: The first one pulled hard, and managed to run 183 feet before the Terminator weighed it down. Another tractor soon after roared and roared and belched black smoke everywhere—and it got much farther.
The walkabout part of the event was what one should expect from a country fair: there were booths for airbrushed tattoos, personalized posters and more, as well as all kinds of food, including pizza, fries, cotton candy and Italian sausage.
One booth was advertising Stampede-brand motor-carts—and a pen had been set up for kids to try them out. A stand named “Chainsaw Chix” carved wooden statues to be auctioned off for Saturday night.
There were also stands from companies such as Harman, John Deere and Verizon.
Other events during the fair included a strawberry dessert and apple pie auction, an “Es Lieblischst Maedel” evening gown show, performances from the Chris Ruble Band, Remember When and The Majestics Band, a fireworks display and more.
One attendee of the fair, Kutztown resident Kelly Schick, who was there on Thursday, planned to go back and pay the fee again on Saturday “for the line dance.”
And Werner summed up the mood of tradition best.
“We’ve been coming to this fair for probably nine or ten years,” he said.