What's new at the 250th York Fair: Fireworks, history exhibit, gator nuggets
If you go
What: York Fair
When: Friday, Sept. 11 to Sunday, Sept. 20. Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday to Sunday and noon Monday to Thursday.
Where: York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave., York
Admission: $8 for adults, $4 for children 6-18 and college students with a student ID, free for children 5 and under. Fair-long passes are also available for $75, and include parking.
More information: Visit yorkfair.org .
The York Fair is 250 years old this weekend. Now, that's something to celebrate.
In addition to concerts, animals, food, exhibits and other entertainment that returns to the York Fairgrounds each year, organizers are planning some new attractions for a special 250th anniversary celebration Sept. 11-20.
"The fair is going to be bigger and better than in previous years because we added a lot of 250th celebrations and displays," York Fair general manager Mike Froehlich said.
Here's a look at some of the top new attractions to check out.
York Fair through the years
From a set of conjoined twins and the Worth Infantry Cornet Band to Andy Grammer and American Authors, the York Fair entertainment lineup has changed quite a bit in the last 250 years. See photos of past acts here. To celebrate its history, the York Fair will host a new timeline exhibit this year inside Memorial Hall East that highlights key moments from both the fair's and America's history from 1765 to today. As festival goers take a walk down memory lane, they'll see items including old photos, posters, artifacts, antique tractors, a 1913 Rolls Royce and more, Froehlich said.
The exhibit also includes two slide shows on the history of the York Fair and on York Fair entertainment through the years.
"It's a must-see for all fair goers," he said.
Cake Decorating Contest
Stop by Horticulture Hall check out the new 250th anniversary-themed cake decorating contest. Cakes decorated to celebrate York Fair history will be on display from Friday, Sept. 11 to Sunday, Sept. 20.
From pig races and petting zoos to livestock displays and the goat mountain, the York Fair has it all when it comes to animal exhibits. But, the fair has never had an animal show quite like this. The Marvelous Mutts will bring their team of dogs, all adopted from shelters and rescues, to entertain audiences with tricks and stunts. The shows, held at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day of the fair, could include dock diving, Frisbee tricks and/or obstacle courses. Additional shows will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sept. 19.
For the kids
Nick Jr.'s "PAW Patrol" is coming all the way from Adventure Bay to meet and greet the children at the York Fair. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 to Sunday, Sept. 13, children can meet Chase and Marshall, have their photo taken in Adventure Bay, check out the life-size PAW Patroller and play with new PAW Patrol toys.
Most of this year's 118 to 120 food vendors — including Bricker's Famous French Fries, Don's Sausage and Mr. Bill's Seafood — will be returning from previous years. Some new food vendors to look out for include Steve's Famous P-Nuts (roasted, fried and boiled peanuts), Alpine Eatery (German Octoberfest cuisine) and Chester's Gators and Taters (deep-fried gator nuggets, bacon corndogs, kebobs).
Celebrate 250 years with a bang. For the first time in the last 10 or 15 years (at least), the York Fair will conclude festivities with a fireworks show, Froehlich said. Zambelli Fireworks, an internationally known fireworks company based in New Castle, will set off a fireworks show from the infield at dusk on Sunday, Sept. 20. The best seats to view the fireworks are in the grandstand or anywhere outside the track, Froehlich said.
More things to check out
Parade: The parade will step off from outside Utz Arena at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 and will end in front of the Grandstand. The parade will feature 4-H and FFA exhibits, military units, EMS units, the fair queen and more to celebrate 250 years of the fair.
Butter sculpture: The husband-and-wife team Marie Pelton and Jim Victor are back with a brand new butter sculpture this year. The sculpture won't be unveiled until 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, but one can guess that the design will be related to the 250th anniversary theme.
Circus: Another crowd favorite, the Royal Hanneford Circus will feature performances including a Russian cat act, Chinese acrobats and the flying trapeze. The circus, which for the first time will be held outside under the big top, will perform three shows a day and four on Saturdays.