Jeff Smith met his future wife, Julie Uhlig, in 2001, and their second date was at the Warren County Fair.
Uhlig happened to be the 1999 Fair Queen, and they remained involved with the fair, camping each year with their families. In 2004, Smith surprised Uhlig when he proposed to her on the stage during the annual fair queen pageant.
The families have been camping at the fair since the mid-1980s, and like many others, it has become a tradition.
Times Observer photo by Rob Andersen
Camping at the fair
From left, Kaidan Smith of Edinboro, his grandmother Merle Wingard of Warren and his cousin Nathan Ward of Erie relax under the awning of a family camping trailer at the fair campgrounds. Smith’s mother, Julie Uhlig Smith was the Warren County Fair Queen in 1999. Camping at the Warren County Fair is a tradition for many, returning year after year to enjoy friends, family and the entertainment at the fair.
In addition to enjoying the fair, Smith has been taking lots of photographs he is also the web developer for the fair's website.
Tonya Whitney of Sugar Grove said she had been camping at the fair for years. "My daughter is in 4H, and she shows her paint (horse)," she said.
Whitney said her family has traveled all over with their camper, driving across the country to Montana and back, with side trips to North Carolina and Assateague Island.
Her friend Holly Jaquay, of Lottsville added, "We live in our camper during the summer. Since June 22, we have stayed at Chautauqua Lake. We've probably been coming to the fair to camp for 13 years, and we like hanging out with family and friends. It's the highlight of the year in the kids' summer."