EBENSBURG - Dressed in her Cinderella rain coat, Elizabeth Nagle, 5, wasn't about to let the rain stop her from having a good time Monday at the Cambria County Fair.
"She's got her rain coat on and is ready to ride," said mom Esther Nagle, 29, as she watched her daughter, the only one on the rain-soaked ride, whiz by, smiling. "The kids like to come out and ride the rides, look at the animals and walk around. It's something to do."
Kevin Rummell, 32, pointed out it was either brave the rain at the fair or stay at home and work on something in the garage. His son, James Rummell, 9, said the rides were the reason he likes the fair, even if the funhouse was a bit too scary. Because of the rain, his favorite, the giant slide, was closed, as were most of the rides Monday, said a carnival employee.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Elizabeth Nagle, 5, of Portage weathers the rain as the sole rider on this spin of the Aloha at the Cambria County Fair in Ebensburg on Monday. The fair runs through Saturday.
"We were talking last week," Kevin Rummell said. "It was either going to be hot or soggy."
Despite the soggy start to the 120th Cambria County Fair in Ebensburg, organizers said the show would go on. Despite rain Sunday and Monday, people were turning out and making the most of it.
"I see so many people walking in here with rain gear," said Ray Lenz, president of the fair board of directors. "They're die-hards. At the barns, there were so many people walking through with umbrellas because they want to see the animals."
Agriculture is a large part of the fair, with livestock of every sort on hand for judging and auction.
Cambria County 4-H Beef and Veal Community Club members Johanna Pisarczyk, 14, of Sidman and Martin Veneskey, 18, of Carrolltown worked to get Pisarczyk's lamb "Petey" sheared, no easy feat given the 6-month-old lamb's penchant for not holding very still.
"He's bad. He likes to jump," said Pisarczyk, who has been a member of 4-H since she was 8 years old and shows steer and sheep.
Pisarczyk said there's a trick to keeping the lamb still.
"Put a towel over its head to cover its eyes," she said. "It calms them down."
Pisarczyk's mother, Deborah Sedlmeyer, said it's wonderful to see the kids working so hard to get ready for the fair. "It's definitely a family activity," she said. "It's a family commitment. It's a lot of work, and they have a lot of fun, too."
Buzz Sedlmeyer said the 4-H club keeps growing, with more than 40 members showing every kind of livestock. Veneskey said showing the pigs, lambs and steers he raises on his family's farm is what he enjoys most about the fair.
"It give the kids' responsibilities," said his father, Bob Veneskey.
Lenz watched the youngsters unloading swine Saturday and said he saw a lot of new, enthusiastic faces.
"They do a fantastic job," Lenz said of the youth, who bring their livestock to the fair for judging, and their parents, grandparents and other family members who come out to support them, even if it means getting a little wet.
The fair brings families together on the week of Labor Day, whether they're showing livestock or just coming for the midway rides, fair food or entertainment. Putting it all together every year takes a lot of teamwork, too, said Lenz, who praised the small army of volunteers who work each year.
Fair Board Secretary Phil Rice said the rain isn't likely to postpone or cancel any of the week's full slate of activities, although there are questions on how it would affect Wednesday's tractor pull.
The fair, which generally sees 45,000 to 50,000 visitors over its weeklong run, has a lot of vendors this year, Rice said, and today, Wednesday and Thursday, the fair is open between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for free as well as bumping down the $8 gate price today to $5.
"Come in, see the animals and exhibits, get something to eat and walk around," said Lenz.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.