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Hundreds of volunteers have Fair ready to roll

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Warren County Fair President Dale Bliss talks about this year’s Fair during a media luncheon held Monday morning.

“It takes a village to put this fair on.”

That’s according to Warren County Fair President Dale Bliss.

And that village is ready to go as Fair activities kicked off in earnest on Monday, highlighted by the Chute-Out Rodeo and Warren County Fair Queen Contest.

Bliss said that it takes hundreds of volunteers to pull off the fair. In spite of that support, there were still challenges that made getting the event together “very interesting.”

That included $200,000 in critical infrastructure work to address electric as well as water and sewer, “improvements people don’t see.”

Efforts to put this year’s edition of the Fair together were compounded by, for a time, the lack of a rides provider.

Bliss said prior to the COVID-19 pandemic there were 600 carnival companies. There are now 200 which leaves what he described as “slim pickings.”

But Penn Valley Shows, he said, went above and beyond to make sure this fair has rides while at the same time providing the same service at a fair in Huntingdon County this week, as well.

The Fair continues to be an almost exclusively volunteer-coordinated event.

“Nobody gets paid for this stuff which is really cool,” Bliss said, calling the grounds all “dolled up… and ready to go.

“All cylinders are going.”

Fair Vice President Steve Carr highlighted the level of sponsorships that the Fair has facilitated as well as the 60,000 projection for people that are expected to attend this week.

Bliss acknowledged that costs have gone up for them but Bliss stressed that the organization always takes pride in being a “value to fairgoers.”

“We decided,” he added, “to keep our prices flat so a family can afford to come here.”

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