Fair-goers treasure the memories at the 60th annual Kempton Country Fair

Item photo by Shea Singley 2014 Miss Kempton Fair Court. Miss Kempton Runner-Up Yarah Wright, Little Miss Kempton Nelly Wilson, Jr. Little Miss Kempton Dakota Shultz, Jr. Miss Kempton Karliegh Hobel and Miss Kempton Tami Bennecoff.
Item photo by Shea Singley Kempton Country Fair celebrated its 60th year this season.

“Come to the fair to create some treasured memories of your own,” said Tim Wasser, President of the Kempton Country Fair.

Last week, the community (and those from well outside the community) celebrated the 60th annual Kempton Country Fair. This year’s theme was “Treasure the Memories.”

This year the fair kicked off on Wednesday, June 11, with “A Night of Tractor and Truck Pulls.” Due to weather, the pulls were canceled on the first official night of the fair on June 12 and again on June 13.

Those first two rainy and humid nights did not stop attendees from coming out to celebrate the 60th year or from having fun with rides, games, vendors, food, animals and live music.

“When they announced that ‘Treasure the Memories’ was the theme for the 2014 PA Fair Season, it started me thinking about all the things I did at the fair when I was growing up,” said Wasser during the opening ceremonies. “The first thing I remember was all the work I had to do taking care of the animals, but if that were all it was, I would not have done it for so many years.”

He continued, “The things that stand out the most to me now are: One, the friendships I made, that last to this day, with other dairy exhibitors, people who showed other animals and other people who were on the fairgrounds. Two, helping and teaching younger exhibitors. Needless to say, I benefited from this when I was younger and still do. Three, answering questions and teaching people about animals and where their food comes from. Four, seeing the face of a child when they see and touch a cow for the first time or watching the crowd while delivering a calf. These are a few of the treasured memories I have of the fair and they are probably why I am still helping with the fair today, so others can make their own memories to treasure.”

To celebrate the 60th anniversary on opening night, a special cake was shared with attendees following the opening ceremonies.

Pennsylvania State Fair Association 2014 Fair Queen Lia Schmittel helped kick-off the fair and the first night of the Miss Kempton Fair pageant. This was also her first fair of the season.

“I am very excited to be here,” said Schmittel. “I’m very honored to be here for the 60th anniversary of your fair. It’s a huge accomplishment. Congratulations to all of you who have been a part of it.”

Schmittel toured the fair with Miss Kempton Fair 2013 Kayla Fusselman and even posed for a photo with the 2014 Berks County Dairy Princess Ashley Mohn in the vendor area prior to the pageant.

“You excited? Nervous? I understand. I remember sitting down there,” said Schmittel to the Miss Kempton Fair contestants right before the introduction portion of the pageant. “Just be you because that’s the best you can do. Be yourself. Find a focus point. Breathe. You’ll do great, I promise.”

With introductions on June 12 and the evening gown and question portion of the pageant June 13, the young ladies competing had a chance to show their love of the fair and what they treasure about the Kempton Country Fair.

The 2014 court was crowned on June 14. Tami Bennecoff was crowned Miss Kempton Fair 2014, Karleigh Hobel was crowned Junior Miss Kempton Fair, Dakota Schultz was crowned Junior Little Miss Kempton Fair and Nelly Wilson was crowned Little Miss Kempton Fair.

After two days of rain and humidity, the last day of the fair cooled off and brought some sun leading to a crowd of fair-goers making new treasured memories. With entertainment of the musical variety and of performing variety such as Mutts Gone Nuts, line dancing, frog jumping contest, corn cob toss, drag races, pedal pulls, hay bale toss and more, the fair ended on a high note.

“Thank you to all the people who run the fairs and all the volunteers who make them happen! Without you there would be no memories to treasure,” said Wasser.

Next year’s Kempton Country Fair is set for June 10-13.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.