When a group of volunteers created a fair just for the community of Denver, they filled two days with rides, games, food, arts and crafts plus a sheep show. Unique to the Denver Fair was a turkey chase.
When the fair opens Tuesday, Sept. 10, the turkey chase will not be on the agenda, but there will be animals exhibited, from pigs and cattle to goats and sheep. A petting zoo will have more animals and offer pony rides and camel rides. Horsing Around will have daily shows of equine entertainment, too. And there’s a pet show where local pets can try to win prizes for the best tail wager, longest ears, the most creatively dressed pet and owner and more.
The fair continues through Saturday, Sept. 14, making it Lancaster County’s second fair of the season (after Elizabethtown Fair).
Aside from the animals, organizers take pride in offering lots of family-friendly activities every day, says Lorraine Korber, a member of the fair’s board of directors.
And while past Denver Fairs have often brought rain, the activities usually go on as planned. Don't forget the mud boots, fair fans in the past suggest.
Here’s more about this year’s fair:
When: Sept. 10-14
Hours: Midway opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon at Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Select food stands open at 11 a.m. Rides start at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and at 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The fair closes at 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Location: Denver Memorial Park, 800 Main St.
Details: Agricultural fair with judged exhibits, rides, contests, food, livestock shows and entertainment. Miss Denver Fair coronation is Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The pet show is Saturday, Sept. 14, at 9 a.m. The Jell-O eating contest is Saturday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. The cornhole competition is Saturday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.
New this year: A strolling magician, Erick Hershey, will perform throughout the fair Thursday, Sept. 12 from 5:30-7 p.m. Horsing Around will have three daily shows of family-friendly equine entertainment.
Cost: Free. Parking is $5.
Remember when? Denver Fair started in the 1980s, making it one of the newer fairs in Lancaster County. Some of the traditions, like the ag displays, entertainment and rides have stayed. Other events, like the parade and the turkey chase, are just memories. An LNP/LancasterOnline archive dive found these vintage fair photos:
Entertainment highlights: Ryan & Friends will bring his comedy and characters Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. School bands perform Thursday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m. Jess Zimmerman Band performs Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Food not to miss: Cheeseburgers from Schoeneck Area Lions Club and Fink’s French fries.
Organized by: Denver Fair Committee.
Information: thedenverfair.com or 717-336-4072.
Once Denver Fair’s over, Solanco Fair is next (Sept. 18-20).