County fair up and running in Meyersdale – Tribune-Review

The Somerset County Fair is celebrating its 115th year with free admission to the grounds Sunday.

The fair continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds at 7842 Mt. Davis Road, Meyersdale.

Gate fee is $8 Monday through Saturday and includes rides and entertainment.

Sunday, along with judging and showing of animals, the Fair Queen Contest will take place at the grandstand, beginning at 4 p.m. The Farmers and Merchants Parade at 7 p.m. will conclude the entertainment.

The Fair King Contest takes place at noon Monday and concludes with the smashing entertainment of Figure “8� Demo Derby Race with cars racing on a track laid out as a (you guessed it) figure 8. If that is not enough, the Pickup & Minivan Demo follows. Action begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s entertainment includes an Axe Women Loggers of Maine performance at 7:30 p.m. Among the events in which they will participate are log rolling, crosscut sawing and even ax throwing.

Dave Martin’s Rodeo with bull- and bronc-riders is featured at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Rodeo founder and stock contractor Dave Martin brings more than 40 years of combined experience in the rodeo business. Along with the bulls and broncs the show is expected to feature opening ceremonies, specialty acts, calf roping, steer wrestling and cowgirl barrel racing.

Thursday will be drawing on local talent to lure the crowd with its “Fair’s Got Talent Contest� beginning at 5 p.m. The Supreme Showman Finals at 7 p.m. concludes the day.

Friday is Senior Citizen Day with the older crowd being offered free parking and admission from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Two evening performances are scheduled: the 4×4 Truck Pull at 7, and the Woodcarving Auction at 8 .

As in years past, the Saturday evening Jack Fullerton’s Destruction Derby wraps up the entertainment at the fair. It will begin at 6 p.m. Fullerton has been promoting derbies for 41 years at the Somerset County Fair. Before becoming a promoter he drove in many demos, so he understands the mechanics of getting a car ready in the safest possible manner. The Somerset County Fair Demolition Derby is one of the largest in the area. Several years ago 149 cars were reduced to rubble on the last Saturday of August.

Carnival rides and food vendors, bingo and animal judging, children’s games and the junior livestock sale add to the fun as visitors wander throughout the barns viewing animals, crafts and displays.

This annual event came into being on July 4, 1900, as the Meyersdale Fair and Race Association. It was the brainchild of a group of local men who were interested in house racing. After persuading local farmer Jacob W. Peck to lease them 21 acres of his farm as a fairground, the group promoted races of all kinds. Although horses and autos played a prominent part there were also sulky races, ostrich races and running races.

In the 115 years the fair has existed, it has been canceled five times: In 1918 during World War I at the request of the National Fuel Administration; in 1932 due to the Great Depression; and three consecutive years during World War II.

Fay A. Yoder is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.