Jacktown Fair returns for 149th year

July 12, 2014
Howard “Buster” Dulaney and his wife, Carol, enjoy some quiet time at last year’s Jacktown Fair. Buster, 81, is considered the fair’s the oldest exhibitor and proved his mettle by taking first place this year with a fine head of cabbage. Dulaney brought some of the family’s bumper crop of cucumbers to give away to friends and those who might pass by the family gathering spot in front of the horse barn. - C.R. Nelson/For the Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WIND RIDGE – The success of the Jacktown Fair has been quite extraordinary, considering that over the years, most small, community fairs fell to the wayside or consolidated into larger county fairs.

But not the Jacktown Fair. It returns Tuesday for its 149th year, opening with a parade through Wind Ridge and the crowning of Miss Jacktown Fair.

And much of the credit has to go to Walter “Buck” Burns, who for the last 27 years has served as president of the Richhill Agricultural Society, which organizes the fair.

With the fair’s sesquicentennial just a year away, Burns is trying not to look ahead, but rather focus his attention on making this year’s fair the best it can be. “We are ready to go and we think this year will be as good as it has ever been,” he said.

“Rural fairs have been getting less and less all the time,” Burns said, “but we have been able to do it because of our volunteers and everyone who supports us.”

Starting off the events for the week is the kickoff parade at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. It will be followed immediately by the crowning of the 2014 Miss Jacktown Fair Queen.

The seventh annual Jacktown Idol continues to be a big hit at the fair. The vocal talent competition is fashioned after the successful “American Idol” television series. Round one of the competition begins Wednesday at the upper grandstand and runs every night at 8 p.m. until the finale Friday.

The emcee for the event will be Regis Whetzel, and entertainer originally from Fayette County, now living in Pittsburgh. Judges will be Doug Wilson from WANB Radio, musical producer/director Brad Henry and Sandy Lusco Huffman.

Winners of the competitions will receive $1,000 and 15 hours of recording time at Silent Wind Audio in Bobtown; second place, $500 and 10 hours of recording time; and third place, $300. Entries are still be accepted and forms can be downloaded at jacktownfair.org. They should be returned to Direct Results, 185 Wade Street, Waynesburg, or by calling 724-627-2040.

Other musical performers will grace the fairground stage each night, and, on Thursday, fairgoers not competing in Idol will have their own shot with a karaoke evening.

In addition to entertainment there will be livestock judging, rides and, of course, food.

The only thing that could hurt the success of the fair is the weather. “The weather can make or break you when talking about a fair,” said Burns.

As the Jacktown Fair slogan says, “You can’t die happy 'til you’ve been to the Jacktown Fair!”

Highlights of the weeklong fair include:


•2:30 p.m. – House decorating contest

•6 p.m. – Float contest

•6:30 p.m. – Parade

•8 p.m. – Classic memories (Midway Stage)

•8 p.m. – UTV Tough side-by-side contest (Lower Grandstand)

•Stihl Pro Carvers

•Mechanical bull riding


6-11:30 p.m. – Youth night

7 p.m. – Food eating contest (Midway Stage)

•8 p.m. – Jacktown Fair Idol contest Round 1 (Upper Grandstand)

•8 p.m. – Tuff Truck contest (Lower Grandstand)

•Stilh Pro Carvers

•Mechanical bull riding

Thursday (Senior citizens day)

•2 to 5 p.m. – Bingo

•7 p.m. – Tractor and truck (Lower Grandstand)

•8 p.m. – Karoke (Midway Stage)

•8 p.m. – Jacktown Fair Idol contest Round 2 (Upper Grandstand)

•Stihl pro carvers

•Mechanical bull


•Livestock judging contest

•Tractor driving contest

•7 p.m. – Rabbit and goat sale

•7 p.m. – Power Pulling Productions truck & tractor (Lower Grandstand)

•8 p.m. – Jacktown Fair Idol (Finals) (Upper Grandstand)

•8 p.m. – Two Peas in a Pod (Midway Stage)

•9 p.m. – Fireworks (sponsored by Wilson Trucking and J&R Excavating)

•Stihl Pro Carvers

•Mechanical bull


•6 p.m. – Stihl Pro Carvers demo and sale (Upper Grandstand)

•6:30 p.m. – Sandy Lusco Huffman, with warm-up Hillbilly Way (Upper Grandstand)

•7 p.m. – Cross Vision Band (Midway Stage)

•8 p.m. – Thomas Motorsports, LLC demo derby (Lower Grandstand)

8:30 p.m. – Hillbilly Way Band (Upper Grandstand)

•Stilh Pro Carvers

•Mechanical bull

Judging schedule:


•Floral Hall – 9 a.m.

•Rabbits – 4 p.m.


•Horses – 9 a.m.

•Beef – 10:30 a.m.

•Goats – 1 p.m.


•Sheep – 8 a.m.

•Dairy Cattle – 2 p.m.

Carnival rides begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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