CHAMBERSBURG >> Handsome horses will lead the Franklin County Fair at 11 a.m. Sunday, and country singer/songwriter Lindsey Erin will perform what promises to be an energetic and engaging concert as the fair finale July 11.

Between the Open and Adult Horse Show and live music by Erin on the midway stage, the 50th annual Franklin County Fair Queen will be crowned and will oversee many activities on jam-packed slate of agricultural and livestock exhibits. Also, a playbill of entertainment will suit a wide range of tastes.

For many, the 41st annual Vespers Service at 6:30 p.m. Sunday is the fair's hallmark. This year features speaker Pastor Murray Stevens and live music by "No Back Road." Opening day admission is free, but no rides will be operating.

Throughout the week, others will flock to three queen contests for different age groups, truck and tractor pulls, judging of exhibits, karaoke, a demolition derby, professional wrestling, a "Franklin County's Got Talent" contest, a 4-H/FFA animal dress-up parade, cash drawings and live music.

The fair features free admission for all on July 11, until 1:30 p.m. and kiddie rides are free 2-4 p.m.

Admission is $5 a head at the gate the rest of the week, except Friday when admission is $10. There is also "$10 a carload" pricing every day except Friday.

Fair President Robert Eckstine said there are no charges inside the gate except for food, rides and amusements.

"No hidden fees, no small print," he said.

Cathy Herdtfelder moved to Chambersburg three years ago and quickly became a fan of the fair. She's a 4-H leader and, as such, is drawn to the agricultural side of the event but she said there's more to appreciate.

"The first time I went, I was just curious," she said, "but I've found the food is great and the tractor pulls are fun. It's not expensive and has a family feel. People should gather up their families and go."

She's partial, of course, to the 4-H poultry show she helped organize. Although there will be no live chickens or ducks because of the avian flu alert, 4-Hers will display photos of their birds and viewers will vote for their favorites with loose change that will later fund World Vision contributions to provide livestock in Third World countries.

Eckstine expects the crowning of the 50th fair queen to be popular. He said past queens have been invited to return and enjoy a pre-contest reception this year.

"We hope to see many return, but we don't know for sure what to expect. The women are scattered across the country," he said.

Another major attraction could be The Hubcaps, the 1950s and 60s oldies band that, Eckstine said, have not appeared at the fair for "eight or 10 years."

More details about the fair available on the fair website at The fairgrounds are located at 3725 Warm Spring Road west of Chambersburg.

Dale Heberlig can be reached at 717-262-4811.

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