The 148th annual Kutztown Fair concluded with Children’s Day on Saturday, Aug. 17. Held from Aug. 12 to 17 at the Kutztown Fairgrounds, the fair featured the crafts, contests, rides, food, music, thrill shows, face painting and animal events, all under the theme Wilkum! Blue Jeans & Country Dreams.
“We really had a good turnout all around, the ag side and the Midway,” said Ginger Schappell, a director on the Kutztown Fair Board. “We just had one night this week that was a little rainy, but otherwise I think we had a great year. We have a new pass this year so I think that also helped our attendance. (Friday night) with the fireworks, it was just a really great turnout.”
Children’s Day included a Scavenger Hunt, Lego Building Contest and a Marian & Friends ventriloquist show.
“I love being a part of (the Kutztown Fair). Every year I love being a part of Children’s Day and making kids and families laugh and enjoy themselves here,” said Marian Gehman, of Mohnton, a Kutztown native who has been a ventriloquist since age 8. “I hope they lose themselves in the magic of ventriloquism, that the characters become alive to them and that they just laugh and enjoy the show and the parents enjoy the show as well.”
A few highlights during the week included an Antique Tractor Parade, animal judging, sheep shearing demonstration, Animal Mardi Gras, animal showmanship, exhibits, pedal tractor pull, giant sundae, line dancing, and fireworks.
“We want people to come out the fair. We just want them to have a good time,” said Schappell.
New this year for the Midway Show was Bearadise, a show featuring bears performing while also educating the public about bears in the wild.
“We have a brand new ride company here this year (Hougton Enterprises Inc.). They have lots of great rides,” said Schappell. “We have some new contests at the fair this year, Build the World in a Mason Jar. We had adults competing in it as well as children so it was really cool. We have tons of animals. It was full because other fairs that didn’t have as much going on this year.”
Katelyn Heckman, 13, of Kutztown, and her brother Reece, 15, were out at the Kutztown Fair with the dairy cows and dairy beef.
Katelyn enjoys showing cows at the fair.
“It’s really exciting and fun,” she said.
For Reece, the highlight of this year’s fair was showing and winning reserved champion for his dairy cow.
“I felt really good,” he said, sharing what it takes to achieve that award. “Working a lot with the animal and taking care of them.”
Sitting with them amongst the cows in the barn was Peter Rohrbach, 15, Shoemakersville. They spend every day of the week at the fair.
“I really like hanging out with friends and meeting a lot of new people and just having fun,” said Rohrbach.
Kara and Daniel Lehner of Mohrsville brought their dairy cows out to the Fair. Their children Wyatt, 10, and Libby, 8, are involved at the fair with their dairy cows.
“(I like) all that they learn showing animals here and the experience they get showing,” said Daniel.
Libby said her favorite part of the fair was “showing my cow.”
In two years, the Kutztown Fair will celebrate its 150th anniversary.
“We’re hoping to get some really cool 150th back in time exhibits, something fun to get everybody to come out to the 150th Kutztown Fair,” said Schappell.