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New Holland Farmers Fair returns on Wednesday.

The New Holland Farmers Fair’s tug-of-war contest started in 1964 and grew through the years to attract up to 16 teams, most from local fire companies.

This year, the tug-of-war contest will not be held because not enough teams signed up. The loss follows the trend of fire companies struggling to recruit volunteers, organizers say.

Yet the fair, which dates back to 1927, goes on. The fair starts Wednesday and continues through Saturday.

New Holland’s fair is a chance for locals to show the animals and produce they’ve raised and the crafts they’ve made. It’s also a chance for area charities to raise money, says the fair’s acting president Bill Fisher.

The fair kicks off with a parade Wednesday, which usually attracts up to 30,000 people, he says.

While the tug-of-war competition isn’t returning, a cornhole competition is getting a lot of buzz.

Here’s more about the fair:

Where: The farm show building at 101 W. Franklin St. holds most of the exhibits. The midway, games and contests are held on West Main Street (Route 23), North and South Roberts Avenue and Franklin Street.

New this year: A cornhole tournament is Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Food not to miss: Ham and cheese sandwiches from New Holland Lions Club and Fink's French fries.

Did you know: Eastern Lancaster County School District has a half day of school Friday so students can enjoy the fair.

New Holland Farmers Fair Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 3

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Midway is open.

Noon Bake sale (Farmers Fair Building)

1-7 p.m. Exhibits are open.

4 p.m.-11 p.m. Rides are open.

7 p.m. Parade


Thursday, Oct. 4

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Midway is open.

1:30 p.m. Goat show

4 p.m. Sheep show

4 p.m.-10 p.m. Rides are open.

5:30 p.m. Pedal power (ages 3 and 4; 5 and 6)

7:30-9 p.m. Line Dancing


Friday, Oct. 5

10 a.m. FFA tractor-driving contest

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Rides are open.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Midway is open.

1-4 p.m. Kids’ day

5:30 p.m. Pedal power (ages 7 and 8; 9 and 10)

6:30 p.m. Livestock sale

7-9 p.m. Cracker Beez (Franklin Street Stage)


Saturday, Oct. 6

9 a.m. Horseshoe pitching contest (Registration starts at 8 a.m. in New Holland Community Park)

11 a.m. Cornhole competition. (Registration starts at 10 a.m.)

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Midway is open.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. Rides are open.

1 p.m. Baby parade

(After baby parade.) Pet parade

2:45 p.m. Long john-eating contest (Franklin Street)

Once New Holland Farmers Fair’s over, Lancaster County’s final fair, Manheim Farm Show (Oct. 8-12), will finish the fair season.