The sweet smell of cinnamon buns soon will fill the air over Bedford.
The 138th Bedford County Fair, July 22-28, will kick off the area county fair season, and people will flock to pick up the cinnamon buns from Molnar Concessions of Austintown, Ohio.
"They have been with us for 40 years or more, and the line can be 25 deep at night," said John E. Holbert, fair manager.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Johanna Pisarczyk of Sidman helps fellow Cambria County 4-H Beef & Veal Club member Martin Veneskey of Carrolltown shear a lamb at the 2011 Cambria County Fair.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Julie Sprowls of Bedford drives Belle, a Haflinger in the obstacle course log pull at the 2010 Bedford County Fair.
Beyond the cinnamon buns, the Bedford County Fair prides itself on its livestock show, which Holbert said is one of the biggest FFA and 4-H dairy shows in the state.
The Bedford County Fair is also known for its motorsports events.
The fair will offer three demolition derbies - at 6:30 p.m. July 25 and 26 and at 6 p.m. July 28. A truck and tractor pull will be held at 3 p.m. July 22 and go-cart racing at 4 p.m. July 23, Holbert said.
Dates: July 22-28
Location: Bedford County Fairgrounds, west of downtown Bedford on Business Route 30
Admission: $9, except July 23
which is $5
Phone number: 623-9011
Dates: July 30-Aug. 4
Location: Clearfield County Fairgrounds, Park Drive just off Route 322 West
Phone number: 765-4629
Dates: Aug. 5-11
Location: Huntingdon County Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Road, 2.6 miles off Route 26 North
Phone number: 643-4452
Dates: Aug. 23-30
Location: Grange Fairgrounds, 169 Homan Lane off Route 144, Centre Hall
Admission: $6 daily, $5 for parking
Phone number: 364-9212
Dates: Sept. 2-8
Location: Cambria County Fairgrounds, 883 N. Julian St., Ebensburg
Admission: $8, except $4 on Sept. 4
Phone number: 472-7491
The 152nd Clearfield County Fair follows from July 30 through Aug. 4.
The Clearfield Fair is best known for its entertainment, with big names like Meatloaf, the Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, Foreigner and Kelly Clarkson appearing over the last several years.
"Our entertainment may not sound that great [this year compared to other years], but I really believe they will come through for us," said Greg Hallstrom, fair manager. "We can't afford the gigantic names any more."
This year's lineup includes The Band Perry at 8 p.m. Aug. 3 and Twisted Sister with Great White and Jac and Jill at 7 p.m. Aug. 4.
The Clearfield County Fair also offers an amusement park carnival with Reithoffers.
"Their rides are comparable to amusement parks. They are bigger rides. That is one thing the people asked for. This is our third year with them," Hallstrom said.
The Expo II Plaza offers a clown, petting zoo and a circus, Hallstrom said.
Next up is the Huntingdon County Fair, which dates back to 1831.
The Huntingdon fair, which will be held from Aug. 5-11, offers a variety of entertainment, rides and food and features a fair museum.
"Our fair museum is a treat for everyone. We started it about 25 years ago. It includes tools, antique tractors, hand tools that people used and a collection of milk bottles from local dairies. It just has a little bit of everything," said Jim Davis, fair president.
Davis calls the event a "homecoming."
"It is like a partnership with a lot of the local organizations. This is the source of fundraising for the services they provide over the year," Davis said.
Later this summer, the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair in Centre Hall, set for Aug. 23-30, better known as "The Grange Fair," becomes a city within a town.
"We are best known for the number of military-style tents people stay in for a week to 10 days. We will have 2,500 families living there," said Darlene Confer, general manager and tent secretary. "We will have 1,500 RV sites and about 975 tents."
The Grange Fair, which also will attract about 300 concessionaires and nearly 5,000 exhibitors, also will bring in country entertainment.
David Nail, known for "Let it Rain," will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 27, and Kip Moore, known for "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 30.
The local fair season will wrap up with the 121st Cambria County Fair from Sept. 2-8, which is always held during Labor Day week.
The Cambria fair also will feature country entertainment with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives performing at 8 p.m. Sept. 2, and Jason Michael Carroll at 7 p.m. Sept. 3. A gospel group, The Martins, will perform at 3 p.m. Sept. 3.
"We wanted to bring in bigger name entertainment. Last year it rained, and we lost two or three days of entertainment," said Patricia Fenchak, office manager. "We are trying to upgrade the fair to make it more people friendly and stay within our agriculture roots of where we come from and have progressed through time."
The education aspect is important at the Cambria fair, which also offers a wide line of food and craft vendors.
"We are trying to be as progressive as we can be and educate our youth and the community on the importance of agriculture," Fenchak said. "We are trying to present the agriculture end and show people how important it is to have farming within the community."
The county fairs play an important role, said Mark O'Neill, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau spokesman.
"County fairs provide opportunities for people from rural areas, the suburbs and even bigger cities to talk with farmers about how they raise animals, grow fruits, vegetables and other crops for their consumption,"O'Neill said. "Some people go to county fairs for musical acts, carnival rides or other entertainment, but fairs provide an opportunity for them to interact with the people responsible for producing the food that they eat."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.