BEAVER SPRINGS — Organizers want an event that has been occurring yearly since 1928 to continue, even if efforts to do so will be challenging.
The Beaver Community Fair is scheduled for Sept. 20 through 26 at the fairgrounds where Routes 522 and 235 meet.
Fair organizers decided to go ahead with the event after youth livestock exhibitors asked whether they should go ahead with purchasing the animals they’ll need for exhibits.
“At that point, we had a commitment to the children, and we decided we were going to do as much as we could to have the fair,” said Levi Aurand, president of the Beaver Fair Association Committee.
Rides will be provided by Penn Valley Shows, with an eye toward safety and sanitizing. While the fair normally offers 11 or so rides, this year it will probably be about six. Rides like the Fun House would be impossible to offer this year, Aurand said.
As far as the typical attractions, like tractor pulls, livestock and farm competitions, kids’ games and musical events, everything is still on. Musical acts include Joe Bonson and Coffee Run, Shannon with Tom and Randy, Into the Spin, Rick K Road Trip 20/20, Verses, Swamp Root, Mylee Rose and A Tribute To Alan Jackson.
“At this point, we haven’t decided to cut anything,” Aurand said. “We’re going full steam ahead. We’ll follow the current CDC recommendations, whatever that will be in September.”
Hand sanitizers and handwashing stations will be available throughout the grounds. Sneeze guards will be installed at food stands, and the fair committee has bought masks for their helpers.
“We’re going to recommend social distancing, and we’re going to recommend wearing masks,” Aurand said. “It’s going to be a challenge, for sure. We’re going to do our best.”
“Precautions will be put in place and steps taken to keep the visiting public as safe as possible,” agreed Ross Mitchell, one of the fair directors.
One upside to having fewer rides is the extra space their absence will offer, which in turn makes social distancing easier. Other areas, like access to the barns, might have to be limited. Decisions will be made closer to the fair dates.
“We’re doing as much as we can to maintain what people know as the Beaver Community Fair,” Aurand said. “It would be easy to say it’s too much of a headache, let’s cancel it. I feel that’s unfair to the community, to say we’ll see you in 2021.”
People enjoy coming out to see the exhibits, he said, especially the children’s displays, whether of animals, arts, woodcraft or others. Aurand expects to see more fruit and vegetable exhibits this year, too, due to more people tending gardens this year.
“People at the fair support local fire departments and local venues,” Mitchell said. “It really is a melting pot of nonprofit organizations.”
He noted the variety of attractions at the fair, including food, livestock, kids’ exhibitions, home canning entries, flowers, vegetables, photographs, needlework and painting.
“I think I take a lot for granted, how much variety is there,” Mitchell said. “For somebody new, it’s quite an amazement how many things from the community come together at one place.”
“Just getting out and seeing your neighbors is good,” Aurand said. “We’re just going to do as much as we can to keep everyone as safe as possible. And I think we can achieve that.”
Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com.