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Lycoming County Fair returns for 153rd time next week with Amelia Earhart Funway and more

Lycoming County Fair Facebook

Amelia Earhart got lost between Wilkes Barre and State College, landing on Hughesville’s little landing strip almost 100 years ago. 

Which is how, the famed aviator known best for getting lost is now permanently a part of the Lycoming County Fair.

The fair, which returns Wednesday, contains the  Amelia Earhart Funway, a track-like loop, circling the fairgrounds.  

“Earhart had intentions of landing at Bellefonte for refueling but lost her way. She noticed the landing field in the middle of the fairgrounds and took advantage of it,” according to the history on the fairground’s website. 

Before Earhart famously disappeared completely in 1937, fair board director Mike Bieber considered Hughesville where she first “got lost” on May 14, 1929. 

“She landed back there while her plane was serviced and everything. The wife of the caretaker of the airport at that time, took her out of town to dinner and everything, so we just like to say she got lost here first before anywhere else,” he said. 

The fair reopens at 1 East Park Street in Hughesville on Wednesday for the 153rd time and will remain open through July 20.

The Funway remains a hotspot. Its daily events include Adventure Family Circus, pig races, Hughesville High School Theater Club performances, a magician, a dog show and a petting zoo from North Carolina’s Buffalo Beals.

“There's camel riding involved with that. He (Buffalo Beal) generally has a water buffalo. He's had zebras … Nice man, and he's been here a long time and has a good show,” said James “Rocky” Reed, the fair board’s president.

Reed said the fair remains affordable for families with its 135 acres hosting livestock, shows, live music and fun for the whole family. Admission is $4 for adults with children  12 and younger admitted free. Gate admission is free on opening day. 

“We're really a family oriented, family focused fair. We make it affordable for kids or for the family to bring their kids and say that every kid deserves to see the fair. There's something for everyone here,” Reed said.

This year’s fair will include Hughesville High School Theater Club performances. The theater club will perform throughout the fair for the first time. 

“I think that's a neat way that we involve local youth and it will be a good way for people to get to see what they're doing. A lot of people don't go to the high school plays and stuff, but they'll be able to come here and get a taste of that,” Reed said.

Musical acts will perform most nights from 6  to 8 p.m. at the Red Dog Mobile Storage Stage. Headliners include Leo and Kristen and the Family Traditions, SHOOfly, Aberdeen “Nirvana Tribute,” Celtic Wood and Wires, October Rose, Dave and Ella Miller, and Matt Colegrove. Afternoons will have more live music by Dan and Galla, Marianthi Fanikos, Frank and Kathi Delucca and David and Bobbi Ward. 

“It's a wide variety of music anywhere from classic rock to country… We tried to mix it up, so there's something for everyone,” Bieber said. 

The Grandstand will host live Northern Tier professional wrestling at 7 p.m. July 15. General admission is $10, front row $30 and second row $25. Former WWF wrestler Salvatore Sincere will be featured.  

“People come out, hoot and holler, and love it. It's a fun event,” Reed said. 

Youth Day is July 16 so admission is free for anyone 12 and under. Senior Citizens Day is July 17 and Military Appreciation Day July 18. Grandstand/bleacher tickets for live shows are $10. 

The fair also has “a little something for everybody” when it comes to vendors, Bieber said. 

“We have a very wide variety of different kinds of vendors from different foods that everybody comes to the fair for like pizza, funnel cakes, hot sausages, ice cream,” Bieber said. 

Non-food vendors include crafts, jewelry, farm equipment, vehicle dealerships and more. 

The fair’s carnival ride company, Sunshine Shows, will have rides ranging from the kind for little kids to thrill seekers. Rides include a carousel, slide, a mini train and the more thrilling.

The Lycoming County Fairgrounds where vendors, rides, live music and other entertainment will be held between July 10 and 20.
Chase Bottorf
The Lycoming County Fairgrounds where vendors, rides, live music and other entertainment will be held between July 10 and 20.

The fair’s daily events are as follows:

July 10: Opening Day 

Harness racing at 4 p.m. 

July 11:

Harness racing at 4 p.m. 

July 12 - Bulls & Barrels, a rodeo event, at 6:30 p.m. 

July 13:

9 a.m. - Open Rabbit & Cavies Show 

10 a.m. - Antique Tractor Show 

4 p.m. - Draft horse show and demo derby and kids power wheel derby 

5 p.m. - Obstacle trail clinic 

5:30 p.m. - 4-H & VOC Sheep Show

July 14:

9 a.m. - Open horse show

10 a.m. - 4-H & meat rabbit show and Hillbilly Garden Tractor Show 

1 p.m. - Youth beef blocking contest 

4 p.m. - Backyard Brawl: full size v8 demo derby 

July 15: 

9 a.m. - Open sheep show 

5 p.m. - Dairy showmanship show 

6 p.m. - 4-H & VOC market steers and dairy beef 

7 p.m. - Open mounted fun horse games, Northern Tier professional wrestling with Salvatore Sincere

July 16: Youth Day 

9 a.m. - 4-H show and VOC dairy show

9:30 a.m. - Children’s story hour 

10 a.m. - School day program 

3:30 p.m. - Equine clinic 

6 p.m. - 4-H and VOC swine show 

July 17: Senior Citizens Day

9:30 a.m. - 4-H and VOC goat show 

3:30 p.m. - Equine clinic 

5 p.m. - Open pony show

6 p.m. - Open swine show 

6 p.m. - The 2nd Annual “Off the Farm'' Antique Tractor Pull

July 18: Military Appreciation Day 

9 a.m. - Holstein red and white dairy show 

9:30 a.m. - Open goat show

5 p.m. - Supreme Showmanship Competition, music by Dan Galla 

6 p.m. - Open stick horse show 

7 p.m. - Tack auction and derby and figure 8 racing competitions

7:30 p.m. - 4-H family fun night, lamb and calf dressing contest

July 19: 

9 a.m. - Lycoming Company 4-H youth horse and pony show and adult horse show 

10 a.m. - Open beef show 

5 p.m. - Live music by Dan and Galla 

5:30 p.m. - Awards show 

6 p.m. - Youth livestock sale and tractor pulls 

July 20: Final Day 

9 a.m. - Color breed dairy 

1 p.m. - Pony pulls

1 p.m. and 3 p.m. - Live music by Dan and Galla

4 p.m. - The 14th Annual PATPA 4x4 Gas and Diesel Truck Pull

Chase Bottorf is a graduate of Lock Haven University and holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in writing. Having previously been a reporter for the Lock Haven news publication, The Express, he is aware of the unique issues in the Lycoming County region, and has ties to the local communities.

The Lycoming County reporter position is funded by the Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

You can email Chase at chasebottorf@wvia.org