Using funding from two state grants and private donations, the Solanco Fair Association is making several improvements to the Hoffman Building and to the larger show barn.
The Solanco Fair Association is going to expand its oldest building.
The association's board of directors voted to add on to the Hoffman Building.
Click "read more" to see photos from the Solanco Fair (more photos will be added later)
Photos from day one of the 65th annual Solanco Fair. Check back later for photos from the parade.
Exhibitors spend Tuesday getting read for the he 65th Solanco Fair which runs from Wednesday, September 17 through Friday, September 19.
The Fair Parade is Wednesday night at 6.
The Baby Parade is Thursday night at 7.
Members of Solanco High School's FFA chapter have two goals for their annual Solanco Fair Parade float.
"We're trying to stay with the fair theme [sports spectacular]," said chapter vice president Andrew Aument.
The chapter members also have a more personal message for the float. "We're trying to do a tribute to Brian Zug," Aument said. Zug, who died April 17 at the age of 39, had coached the FFA chapter's dairy judging team for years.
Larry Myers looks forward to the day he can sit along the street and watch the Solanco Fair Parade with his wife, Linda.
He'll have to wait until 2015 because Myers will be leading this year's parade as the grand marshal.
"It's quite an honor," Myers said. "My first reaction was, 'Gee, isn't this usually something for older folks and then I realized I was 60 years old and it kind of fit."
Myers has been involved with the fair for 29 years and serves as its resident electrician.
Dozens of volunteers turned out Saturday morning, August 2, to pick, clean, and freeze sweet corn for the annual Solanco Fair.
Organizers are accepting registrations for September's Solanco Fair Baby Parade.
This year's parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 18 at the Solanco Fairgrounds.
The Walking Division will have the following classes: Best Imitation of a Nursery Rhyme or Fairy Tale, Best Characterization, Most Original, Best Team, Girl in Fancy Dress, and Best Dressed Boy.
Organizers are hoping larger prizes will attract more teams to the Solanco Fair's annual tug-of-war competition.
The winning team in the 2014 contest will take home $500; the second place team will win $250.
Those prizes are substantially larger than the ones offered in 2013.
A year of international sporting events led organizers of the Solanco Fair Parade to choose Sports Spectacular as the theme for this year's event.
"We've finished with the Winter Olympics and we had the World Cup for soccer," parade committee chairman Jeff Minnich said.
Workers began building the Solanco Fair Association's newest building this week.
The 60-foot by 180-foot building is being erected by Pine Hill Construction and will cost about $150,000, said fair association general manager Scott Peiffer.
Construction is possible thanks to a major gift from longtime fair supporter Jim Kreider and his family. The Kreiders are donating $117,000 to help fund the project.
"A lot of us have coats that are too small."
That doesn't mean those coats should spend the coming winter in a closet, Smith Middle School eighth grader Sophie Plechner said last week. Plechner and other members of the school's Pride Ambassadors are trying to drum up enthusiasm for this year's Coats for Kids campaign.
The annual effort is already underway and has just over two weeks to collect, sort, and clean coats, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and sweaters. The winter wear will then be distributed to anyone in the Southern End who needs warm clothing to get through the colder months ahead.
The Solanco Fair Association will be putting up a new building early next year.
The association will erect a 60-foot by 180-foot all weather building north of the group's newest commercial exhibit barn.
Longtime fair supporter Jim Kreider and his family will contribute $100,000 toward the cost.
Click on a picture to enlarge and go through all the pictures in the gallery
Thousands of exhibits, ranging from show cattle and goats to canned beans, antique tractors, and new farm equipment, will be spread across dozens of acres when the Solanco Fair opens on Wednesday, September 18.
Just getting around to the displays can be tiring, or even impossible, for spectators who are disabled or elderly.
The Wakefield Lions Club has come up with a way to help the mobility-challenged tour the fair.
The Lions are bringing walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, and canes to the fair and making them available to anyone who needs help getting around.
Spectators are accustomed to people handing out bags of chips, bottles of water, and other items from floats and commercial entries in the annual Solanco Fair parade.
This year, Solanco Neighborhood Ministries wants to reverse the process.
"We're asking for people to pay it forward," said board member Marlin Nafziger. "We're asking them to give, not to get."
Members of the ministry want spectators to bring canned and other nonperishable food items to donate to the Solanco Food Bank, one of the nonprofit's outreach programs.
The Solanco Fair changes every year. New exhibits, new buildings, and new events, all designed to do one thing - maintain the fair's original purpose as a celebration of the region's agriculture and rural life.
No matter what changes, the fair association has made sure the original goal hasn't changed. For more than half a century, they have successfully resisted attempts to include rides or games of chance.
"It's a good environment," longtime volunteer Scott Kreider said last week. "The whole Southern End works for it."
About 50 volunteers turned out to pick, husk, clean and freeze about 500 quarts of sweet corn on Thursday morning, July 25. The corn will be used in meals fixed during the Solanco Fair.
The Solanco Fair Association is having two-thirds of its remaining pole barn torn down to make more room for exhibits. That sounds like a contradiction, but it will work, general manager Scott Peifer said last week.
The building, originally used to house livestock during the fair, has housed commercial exhibits during recent fairs. But the structure isn't suitable for that purpose because it is too low and does not have sides.