County Fair is a Labor of Love

Reader Contribution by Charlotte Mcmullen
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Since 1924, Labor Day week has signified fair time for Cambria County, Pennsylvania. This Western PA community is famous for its rich history in steel, coal, lumber, bricks and farming, but it is the agriculture that brought forth the annual county fair.

County fairs began as local exhibitions to promote modern farming with added features to attract crowds. They are now synonymous with many things including: carnival rides and games, races and concerts, livestock and agriculture competitions, and delicious (but certainly not figure-friendly) food.

Of course, like most big events, the fair draws a variety of visitors. Take a walk down the midway and you’ll see many interesting sights, but that is all part of the fun experience. After all, the county fair was originally intended as a gathering place where entertainment could be enjoyed by all.

My three oldest daughters raise animals in 4-H; they show market steers and swine. I’d like to share a funny story from the previous fair.

Last year, the two oldest girls both raised two pigs. Unfortunately, one of my second daughter’s pigs did not make weight. That meant no fair for Robert – as she lovingly named him – and he went back home to the farm.

Warning: If you dislike knowing where meat comes from, you may want to stop right here.

Still reading? Great. Before the funny part, here’s some background information:

At the county fair pig show, the children guide their animals around a ring for a judge to evaluate. Both the swine and child’s showing ability are judged.

Now the funny part:

My daughter was sad she didn’t get to exhibit Robert at the fair, so she came up with a unique way she could still show her pig. She told her father that after we butcher Robert, she could push the meat around on her plate and her daddy could be the judge.

Then, she demonstrated how she could tap, tap, tap her meat with a fork and look up and smile every once in a while for the judge. Our family unanimously decided she’d win the grand champion ribbon for sure!

Have a wonderful Labor Day and please enjoy your county fair!

Cambria County Fair, Ebensburg, PA, September 6-September 12

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