Fair entertainment goes from acrobats to country acts
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 .
From trapeze artists to Tim McGraw, the York Fair has hosted a wide variety of entertainment in its 250-year history.
Here's a look back at some of the top acts to take the York Fair stage in the last 90 years.
1920s: In 1926, a new Grandstand was constructed, and the York Fair became a five-day event, opening on Tuesday and closing on Saturday. Entertainment that year included Miss Marlett, a "thrilling contortionist on a swinging trapeze," according to the 1926 York Fair program.
1930s: Freak shows and automobile racing became popular in the '30s. In 1936, popular attractions included The Danvills, an acrobatic act, and Helen Reynolds and her World Champion Skating Team, which commonly performed at Ringling Bros. circuses in the '30s.
1940s: Tap dancer and actor Bill "Bojangles" Robinson performed at the fair in 1946. He's best known for dancing with Shirley Temple in 1930s films. His signature routine was the stair dance, in which he'd dance up and down a flight of stairs. The fair dates were also moved from October to September in the 1940s.
1950s: Memorial Hall, a year-round exhibition building also used for non-fair events, was built in 1953. That year, fair entertainment included Vaughn Wilton Monroe, a singer, trumpeter and big band leader. Monroe has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1960s: Pianist Liberace was one of the top acts to perform at the York Fair in the '60s. Between the '50s and '70s, Liberace was the highest paid entertainer in the world.
1970s: In 1975, the York Fair became a nine-day event, including two Saturdays and a Sunday. Big names to the York Fair stage in this decade were pop duo Sonny and Cher, country music icon Johnny Cash and four-time Grammy Award-winning country singer Loretta Lynn.
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1980s: Southern rock and bluegrass group Alabama performed its first York Fair show in 1981. Since then, this York Fair favorite has performed a record 23 times at the fair and will return again this year for the fair's 250th anniversary. Other big name acts of the '80s include Air Supply, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, The Osmonds, The Go-Go's and New Kids on the Block.
1990s: Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bolton, known for songs such as "When a Man Loves a Woman," performed on the main stage in 1996. The following year, the fair expanded to a 10-day fair, including two full weekends.
2000s: Extra seating had to be installed to accommodate the fans at Tim McGraw's concert in 2005. The country singer married to Faith Hill is known for hit songs, such as "Live Like You Were Dying," released in 2004. Other big acts of the 2000s include Larry the Cable Guy, ZZ Top, Kelly Clarkson and Alice Cooper.
2010s: Country singer Blake Shelton performed for fans on a Wednesday night in 2012, the same night that a special episode of "The Voice" aired. But fans had that covered. They recorded the episode at home. Shelton has been a judge on the NBC reality singing competition since its inception. He's also known for songs, including "Some Beach" and "Honey Bee."
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