Dangers posed by the African Swine Fever have brought changes to the market hog competition at this year's Solanco Fair.
In years past, contestants who brought pigs that were either not heavy enough or too heavy to compete were allowed to take those hogs home.
Cindy Bollinger begins organizing the Solanco Fair's annual dairy cattle shows long before the first animal is unloaded.
She sends out entry forms to anyone who exhibited the previous year, keeps track of the entries as they come back, creates the show catalogues, records the results, and makes sure the winners get their premiums for two days of dairy cattle shows at the annual Solanco Fair.
She's been doing it for 47 years and that's one reason the fair's board of directors chose Bollinger to lead the annual street parade as the Grand Marshal.
One set of volunteers started work at 7 last Wednesday morning, picking sweet corn on the Redcay farm in East Drumore Township.
The first of three pickup loads of corn arrived at the large show barn at the Solanco Fairgrounds about half an hour later.
Organizers of the Solanco Fair Parade are trying to encourage more individuals and groups to design and build floats for the annual event.
They hope creating a new award - a grand prize for the best float - will encourge more entries. With that award will come a cash prize of $250. That's the most money presented for any winning entry in the annual fall celebration.
"We're trying to encourage more floats," fair parade committee chairman Jeff Minnich said.
Entry forms are now available for parents who want to enter their children in the annual Solanco Fair Baby Parade.
The parade will be held at the fairgrounds at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 19. Contestants must report to the fairgrounds for registration at 6 p.m. on that date. Judging will begin at 6:15 p.m. In case the Wednesday street parade is cancelled because of rain and is held on Thursday evening, the Baby Parade will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 20, with registration at 9 a.m. and judging at 9:15 a.m.
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.