Aug. 5—LAURELTON — The crowd at the Union County West End Fair began to trickle in around 5 p.m. Thursday night.
The fairgoers kept the barbecue, fresh squeezed lemonade and fresh cut fries stands busy. Despite showers and an ominous sky, many chairs had already been set up in front of the stage in anticipation of the concert by Sancus Real.
For Corinne Miller and her family who moved to Mifflinburg three years ago, the fair has become a fast favorite.
"Last year was our first year here and we really enjoyed it," she said. "So it's going on again so we're back."
Corinne's children were riding rides, visiting with animals and filling up on typical fair food — burgers, pizza, fries and ice cream.
"We love carnivals, fairs and stuff like that," she said. "We went to the Lycoming County Fair, but this one's nice because it is a little bit smaller so it's not so much for the kids.
"I like the people here and it's just nice. It's fun."
At 4:30 p.m., the animal barns were full of animals and many of their caretakers were hosing them down and cleaning them up for the nigth's shows and parades.
Willow Nogle, 9, of Mifflinburg, was washing Jeff, a goat who was being a little stubborn.
"It's fun, crazy and stressful," she said. "I like all the animals, showing the animals and getting ribbons."
Willow said showing rabbits, goats, sheep, dairy goats, and dairy steer is "kind of a lot of work," but she likes it.
She said the toughest part is raising the animals, teaching them how to walk on a harness. She won reserve grand champion with her cow and reserve junior and grand champion with her dairy goat.
The competition was a family affair for Logan Martin, age 6, and his mom Crissa, particularly because his calf was stubborn like Willow's at the start of competition.
"When it first went in, it was wild," Logan said.
"Mommy helped get it in," Crissa said.
Logan walked the calf around the ring, won first in his class and reserve grand champion.
"I'm proud of him. I did it for 25 years at the fair," she said. "It's neat to see him doing it — very rewarding."
His mom said he worked long hours and hard to earn the awards in a competition she knows well as a longtime attendee and competitor at the fair.
"It's just a good down-to-earth fair," she said. "I just got to know everybody here over the years and it's kind of like a family reunion again.
"You come back and see everybody again every year."
The fair continues through Saturday at the Lincoln Park Fairground