The Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, also known as the Grange Fair, is one of the largest, and oldest Granger’s picnic in the nation. Celebrating it’s 136th year in 2010, the Grange Fair located in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, hosts 1300 RVs and 950 tents packed full of friends and families at the end of each August. This year’s get together will run from August 26 through September 2. Admission for a season pass will be $15, and a daily pass will be $6.
The fair is made up of hundreds of folks who gather at the end of every summer and bring their prized crops and animals to enter them into competitions. There is a category for all fruits and vegetables and one for almost every single animal found on a farm. Though the main theme appears to be focused on farm related events, there are many other avenues that appeal to all crowds, and to all ages.
Horse shows, parades, fireworks, tractor pulls, goats shows, arts and crafts, knitted goods, home baked goods, endless concessions, rides, are just to name a few of the hundreds of events that happen during the week and there is much, much more!
August 29 is Military appreciation day, where anyone who served or is currently serving can ride rides for free on one of the two ride companies offering thrills at this year’s fair.
Monday, August 30, will be children’s day. All day will be geared towards kids of all age. There will be a magic show, a circus with clowns and more, and even a bear! Your child will be exhausted trying to keep up with all the activities with youngsters in mind. The best part is, admission for kids will be free until 6 PM! Children’s day is not the only day you can take the kids. There are plenty of kid-friendly shows and activities through out the entire fair.
The following day August 31, is Collegiate Day, and anyone with a valid student ID can get half-priced admission into the fair grounds.
The final day is Senior Citizens day and you can also get $2 off a ride wrist band if you bring a canned food item with you. This is also the day that the parade takes place. It signifies the end of the weeks festivities at the fairgrounds.
There are vendors who showcase there goods, both edible and non, to the public during the week. Some even advertise their services. Some booths are for charities and for other causes of the likes, such as fundraisers. And there are plenty of booths that offer prizes if you can beat their game!
Each evening ends with a concert of some sort at the Grandstand beginning at 8 PM. Each night will offer a different performer such as Moe Brandy and Steel Magnolia. There will be other performances throughout the day but the main events will always be reserved for the evening.
You will never leave the Grange Fair hungry. In addition to the countless fair food vendors located through the encampment, you will also find stands that offer home cooked meals and even picnic type foods. There is a pizza stand for the kids, and for dessert later, funnel cakes- a necessity for all carnivals and fairs!
In all honesty, it is hard to spend only one day and the Centre Hall Grange Fair since each day offers a different variety of shows and competitions. It would be best to visit the fair a couple of times during the week to gain the full flavor and effect of the Grange Fair. Visit the Grange Fair in Centre County only once, and you will be sure to make this event a family tradition like other have sine 1874!
For more information about this year’s schedule of events, please visit www.grangefair.net.