An Old-fashioned Fair To Celebrate The Farming Life

Posted: July 17, 1988

In the tradition of the old-fashioned state fair, the Nottingham Country Fair will be a celebration of the agricultural lifestyle of southern Chester County.

Farm equipment, old and new, will be on display and demonstrated, and food, crafts, games of chance and music will be featured Saturday at Nottingham Park.

This daylong festival kicks off with a parade at 9:30 a.m. when floats and marchers line up in the Village of Nottingham at Old Forge and Canning House Roads.

The parade continues down Route 272 and then south on Old Baltimore Pike to Park Road and the park entrance, arriving about 11 a.m., the official start of the fair, which continues until 8 p.m.

Park superintendent Owen Prusack and a committee of judges will vote for the best floats, marching groups and individual marchers. Ribbons will be given for first, second and third place.

"The floats are basically driven apparatus or horse-drawn, such as the Kennett Fire Company's horse-drawn pumper," Prusack said. "One float will have the finalists of the Chester County Junior Miss contest. We will also have an appearance by Nottingham's Tiffany Rorher, the 1988 Pennsylvania Angus Queen."

The day also will reflect the area's rural lifestyle with an antique farm- equipment demonstration by the Chester County Home and Farm Antiques Association.

Equipment used by modern farmers also will be demonstrated by area dealers.

"People will also get a chance to talk to representatives from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Soil Conservation Center and get information about what these groups are doing," Prusack said.

Country and bluegrass music will be played on the open-air stage all day long.

First on stage, at 11:15 a.m., will be the Coatesville duet Ken and Keith, presenting bluegrass music. Next, at 12:30 p.m., White Clay Tributary from West Grove will entertain with country and western and bluegrass sounds.

Between 2 and 3 p.m., there will be a break in the music for a contest to see who can down a whole pie the fastest.

"There's no award," laughed Cathy Snowberger, recreation service co- ordinator for the Chester County Park and Recreation Department, which runs the parks system for the county, "just the glory of coming in first." There's no word on what kind of pie will be consumed; that will be decided the day of the fair. Pie-eaters do not have to register - all they have to do is bring their appetites.

Between 3 and 4 p.m., the Rock Boppers of Downingtown will perform music

from the '50s. They will be followed by folk guitarist Jay Smar of Harrisburg. The show will close with the Rhythm String Band of Oxford, performing country and western and square-dancing music for a dance from 6 to 8 p.m.

"We try to highlight local talent at our summer fairs," Snowberger said. ''This way, they have a place to perform and residents get a chance to hear local bands."

Children can have their faces painted, take pony rides for $1 and hayrides for 50 cents, and see baby animals at the petting zoo.

The Friends of Nottingham Park, a volunteer group that helps with events at the park, will sponsor games of chance.

Crafts vendors will sell pottery, quilts, dolls and wooden objects.

Fair food will be the fare of the day, with hot dogs, french fries, chicken nuggets and stromboli to be supplied by vendors. The Oxford Rotary Club will

serve a chicken barbecue.

The charge is $3 a car. Rain date is next Sunday.

Nottingham is a 651-acre park with horseback riding and hiking trails, picnic pavilions, fishing and playgrounds, all of which will be available the day of the fair.

For more information, call 431-6415.

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