The first night of the 59th Annual Kempton Country Fair may have been different from previous years due to rain, but the weather did not scare people away the first night and improved the following two leading to a large crowd and packed parking areas.
Guests included the Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Rhonda Carl, of Ashland, Pennsylvania State Representative Jerry Knowles and Senator David Argall were part of the opening ceremony on June 13.
“Thank you for having me here,” said Carl who commented that this was her first time at the Kempton Country Fair and encouraged everyone to go to fairs outside of the area and experience the differences.
Carl and Miss Kempton 2012 Jacqueline Rice gave the contestants for Miss Kempton 2013 advice after the introduction portion of the pageant.
The advice continued on June 15 when one contestant, Kaelin Popp, 7, of New Tripoli, posed with Miss American Teen Sarah Fegley, of Pennsylvania, and asked what she would suggest for the evening gown part of the pageant.
The 2013 Miss Kempton winners were Karlee Schaeffer for Little Miss Kempton, Arabella Faut for Jr. Little Miss Kempton, Isabel Batres for Jr. Miss Kempton and Kayla Fusselman for Miss Kempton.
The pageant was just one of the many activities for all ages during the three nights of the fair. Entertainment included Comedy and Magic by Matt Episcopo, Mutts Gone Nuts a comedy dog thrill show, band Remember When, Middle-earth Interactive Storytelling, band The 60s Boys, line dancing, rides, races, games and much more.
“There is a fair going on even if the weather isn’t cooperating,” said Tim Wasser, Kempton Country Fair President, during the opening ceremony.
He promised for better weather the next day and due to the weather and many acts having to cancel, decided that opening night would be free admission.
“I think I learned something,” said Wasser when remembering going to fairs when he was younger. “And I want to give back. That’s why I do it.”
Volunteers were thanked often during the speeches at the opening ceremony and many commented that it would not be possible to do the fair without all of the help from the volunteers.
“It’s you people who have made going on 23 years in the fair a pleasure,” said Don Berca, Kempton Country Fair Vendor Coordinator.
Both Rep. Knowles and Sen. Argall talked about the importance of agriculture and country fairs like Kempton. Sen. Argall was very excited for the fair, particularly the food.
“Let’s eat,” said Sen. Argall at the close of the opening ceremony.
The rain may have changed plans on opening night, but fair-goers still enjoyed looking at the contest entries, stopping by vendor tables, watching shows, visiting with the animals, going on rides and getting a bite to eat from the food stands throughout the fair.
Friday night drew the largest crowd for the fireworks which were held around 10 p.m. and many gathered under the tent on Saturday night for line dancing as well as packed the hill to watch races at the track which was only able to be used on the last night due to rain.
Another year of the Kempton Country Fair and a number of attendees and participants are already looking ahead to the 60th year.