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What's new at the 2016 York Fair

Don't miss the beer garden, demolition derby, stingrays and more new attractions at the 2016 York Fair.

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The York Fair is back, folks.

You know what that means. Ten days of pigging out on fried foods, petting farm animals, riding rides and listening to live entertainment.

The fair kicks off on Friday, Sept. 9 with your favorite vendors, exhibits and shows. But if you look closely, you'll find some new attractions this year.

Here are six new things to check out.

Stingrays and butterflies

Watch: Live Stingray at the York Fair
They are slimy to the touch and feisty when you have food in your hand.
Sean Heisey, York Daily Record

Sure, you’ll see plenty of pigs, cows and sheep over the next 10 days. The York Fair always has plenty of those. But organizers also try to bring a new animal attraction to the fairgrounds each year, York Fair general manager Mike Froehlich said. And this year, there are two.

The Stingray Encounter will teach fair-goers all about the sea creatures and even give the public a chance to pet adolescent stingrays. Don’t worry. They’ve had their stingers removed. The exhibit is open 1-9 p.m. daily across from Kiddie Kingdom.

The Butterfly Encounter – also open daily – will allow the public to walk through a screened area filled with hundreds of butterflies of various breeds.

Other animal exhibits to check out include Goat Mountain, racing pigs and dogs, the Marvelous Mutts dog stunt show and the birthing center. Note: Live births are not guaranteed.

Demolition Derby

If you’ve been going to the fair for years, you might remember the Demolition Derby. It was a popular event at the York Fair quite a few years ago, Froehlich said, and now it’s back for 2016.

It’s basically “like a grown-up bumper cars” show, Froehlich said. Drivers will drive old beat-up cars into each other until only one is left running.

The free show is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Grandstand.

Craft beer garden 

Wyndridge Farm, Lancaster Brewing Company and Rusty Rail Brewing Company are bringing craft beer to the York Fair this year.

Those 21 and over can purchase craft beer and pub food from 2-8 p.m. both Saturdays in the Verandah Room.

Wyndridge will also serve free samples of its Cranberry Cider, Barn Dog Imperial Porter and Laughing Crow IPA from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. And Lancaster Brewing will serve samples of its Strawberry Wheat, Baked Pumpkin Ale and Hop Hog IPA from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Patriotic parade and The Pink Cowboy

The York Fair is bringing back the Salute To Our Heroes Parade at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. But this year, the parade – which includes military units, EMS units, firetrucks and more – will close with a patriotic show by musician, comedian and entertainer Dennis Lee at the Grandstand.

Lee is known for blending musical favorites from many different genres with improv and audience participation.

Lee will also do daily strolling performances as the miming comedian character The Pink Cowboy, Froehlich said.

‘90s hip hop and ventriloquism

It’s not all country music at the York Fair this year. The fair is fleshing out its grandstand stage lineup with a little bit of comedy and a night devoted entirely to hip hop.

For the first time, the top superstars of the ‘90s – including Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Tone Loc, Young MC and Color Me Badd – will bust a move on the grandstand stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14.

And ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham will follow with a performance featuring fun characters, like the NASCAR-loving redneck Bubba J, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.

Up-and-coming country singers Chase Rice (Sept. 10) and Tyler Farr (Sept. 15) are also new to the lineup this year.

And don’t miss entertainment from returning favorites like hypnotist Tammy Barton at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily in Heritage Hall and the All Star Circus daily at Memorial Hall East.

Amish donuts and bacon bombs

And, we can’t forget about the food – the main attraction for some fair-goers. You’ll see all your favorite vendors serving fair classics like funnel cakes, French fries, fried oreos and even deep-fried alligators. Although Bury’s burgers will be missed this year.

But here are some new fair foods to get excited about:

  • Amish donuts from “Breaking Amish” star Jeremiah Raber
  • Homemade fudge from Fudge-O-Lutely
  • Bacon bombs from Hammi’s BBQ
  • Chicken and pork souvlakis and gyros from Five Happy Lemons
  • Walking tacos and grilled cheese from Finger Lickin’ Eats n’ Sweets

If you go

What: 2016 York Fair

When: Sept. 9-18. Gates open at 11 a.m. Fridays through Sundays and at noon Monday through Thursday.

Where: York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave., York

Admission: $8 for adults; $4 for college students and children 6-18; free for children 5 and under. A fair-long pass is $75.

Parking: $7

More info: Visit

MORE COVERAGEFind all of our coverage of the 2016 York Fair.