DAYTON — The 133rd Dayton Fair kicks off next week, bringing with it all the thrills and fun attendees have come to love.
As Armstrong County’s only agricultural fair, the event begins Sunday. A daily schedule packed with shows, judging, rides and food carries the fair throughout the week until the gates close on Saturday.
“The fair has a long tradition of not only providing an enjoyable way for people to exchange ideas, demonstrate skills and exhibit products, but also providing a great source of family recreation, entertainment and learning,” according to the Dayton Fair website.
The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Sunday with a worship service led by Randy and Paul Thompson, a father-son team from the Punxsutawney area, followed by the crowning of the Dayton Fair queen at 8 p.m.
“I feel so blessed to have been able to represent such a great community and fair,” 2012 Fair Queen Amelia Lindsay said in the fair handbook.
The gates officially open at 3 p.m. next Monday with rides starting at 5 p.m.
Monday evening brings the minivan/compact car demolition derby at 7:30 p.m. New at the fair this year, the first prize winner of the derby will net $600.
Tuesday there will be horse and livestock judging all day. In the evening, the farm tractor pull will be held at the grandstands at 7 p.m., featuring farm tractors, Keystone mini V8 tractors and open-street semis.
Wednesday is military/veterans appreciation day, where all military personnel and veterans are admitted free with ID.
Horse and livestock judging continues Wednesday with grandstand highlights such as harness racing at noon and grand cavalcade and six-horse hitch at 5:30 p.m. The evening event will be the Lucas Oil Pro-Pulling League at 7 p.m., featuring Lim Pro/Super farm tractors, super stock 4x4 trucks, 6300 open 4x4 trucks and 7700 open 4x4 trucks.
Thursday is golden-agers day, where all senior citizens are admitted free before 4 p.m. The Armstrong County junior livestock sale begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the 4x4 Mud Bog at the grandstand at 7 p.m.
Friday brings the popular demolition derby at 7:30 p.m. at the grandstand. This year’s winner will grab $1,200.
The fair winds down Saturday. This year’s featured performer is country music artist Randy Houser.
Houser released his first album in 2008, charting several hits on the Billboard country music charts. His third and most recent album, “How Country Feels,” netted him his first No. 1 single with the title track. Houser has also co-written several popular country songs, including Trace Adkin’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and Justin Moore’s “Back That Thing Up.”
Houser takes the grandstand at 8 p.m. The fair’s annual fireworks will follow the show.
But those are just the highlights. Fun at the fair runs all day long, with food, rides and shows for the whole family.
Returning to the fair are Toodles the Clown and Buffalo Beal’s Animal Park, with its petting zoo and pony and camel rides. Also showing daily are the Galaxy Girls stunt show, Johnny Peer’s Muttville Comix dog-comedy show and the Chainsaw Chix chainsaw artists show.
Admission at the gate is $8 with free parking. Advance day passes are available for $7 or $40 for a full week pass. For more information, visit www.daytonfair.com.