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Cambria County Fair marks 122nd year

By Maria Miller

With the Labor Day holiday comes another year of the Cambria County Fair, this year marking its 122nd anniversary. Hundreds of people young and old took advantage of a day off from work or school on Monday to enjoy the rides, food and entertainment.

"The fair is very important to the county and our community for the jobs it brings to the area and for the chance for vendors to interact and meet with each other," said fair board president Philip Rice.

The fair board is gearing up for a week full of events, starting with country music star Dustin Lynch Monday night and ending with a monster truck show on Saturday.

"Tuesday is high school band night. Wednesday night we have a truck pull. On Thursday night we have small car demolition derby, and Friday night is the large cars, the giant V8s running into each other," said Price.

And what would a fair be without the food? There were plenty of booths Monday offering plenty of sweet treats, fried delights and classic favorites like turkey legs.

"On average, we sell about 40 to 45 legs," said Derek Miller, of Miller's Concessions. "Sitting them here (on the grill) isn't the real secret, the secret is the 18 hours of smoking they go through previously."

There's also the local cuisine, including the Italian comforts of hometown favorite Mazz's, of Portage.

"It requires a lot of work. You spend lots of hours up here at nighttime," said Craig Mazzarese. "The reward of it is a clean, quality booth, and you get the family experience. You give people a clean place to eat and give them something local. It's great to see."

Then there are the rides and games, a family affair for Angelo Castellanos, who recently retired from Tropical Amusement after 45 years traveling with the fair. He came from New York City to help his family this weel but says his job is far from work.

"There's something in the blood. There's something in the atmosphere when you get to see a small town and you meet people," said Castellanos. "Then you leave for five days, and you come back next year, and they remember you."

The main event, though, is the agriculture: a chance for the hundreds of farmers in Cambria County to show off the hard work they put in every day.

"It's a very exciting time," said Price. "We plan all year for it, and it's a big event for Cambria County, and we look forward to everybody coming up and sharing it with us."

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times