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Chester County Press

All the fun of the farm at the Unionville Fair

10/04/2013 05:18PM ● By Acl

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

For the past 89 years, the Unionville Community Fair and Farm Show has been a link to Chester County's rural past and its vibrant present.

The fair has been an early October tradition for generations of families, and when it opens again on Oct. 4, all of the old favorites will return. That's a large part of the fair's charm. The chance for a toddler to pat a cow's nose, see farm animals up close and dig around in a sandbox full of corn kernels is a way to make precious family memories.

Jayne Shea, who is stepping down as president of the fair this year, said, "Our fair has remained true to its roots. The folks who carry on the tradition have done an excellent job of maintaining the original purpose of this event for 89 years. We have grown, but our message has remained the same. We continue to encourage community involvement by celebrating our local heritage and by promoting agriculture, and we are still doing it after all these years." 
Thursday, Oct. 3, is a set-up day for exhibitors only, but the day is capped by the Denim and Diamonds Benefit Dinner and Auction from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The event is held in the red barn at the fairgrounds. Tickets are $100, and include a catered buffet by Triple Fresh, wines from Chaddsford Winery and beers from Victory Brewing, along with live music by Chris D'Esposito. 
Gates open at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, with displays of crafts and agricultural products that have been judged and awarded ribbons. The musical duo Dan and Galla will entertain the crowd at 2 p.m., and then emcee a family dance at 6 p.m. in the dining tent. Kids will find supervised games and activities in the Giggles and Grins area from 2 to 6 p.m., and the Main Stage entertainment includes Matt Cadabra from 3 to 5 p.m. and Skip Barthold from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

The fair opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, with special events including the state sponsored baking contest judging from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the red barn, a scarecrow building contest from 10 a.m. to noon, a community parade emveed by Dan and Galla near the Main Stage from 11 a.m. to noon, the "Look Like Your Pet Contest" at noon, kiddie pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m., the Dairy Show at 1 p.m. followed by the cow-milking contest.

One of the fair's biggest attractions, the Willowdale Pro Rodeo, begins at 6 p.m. in the outdoor arena on the fairgrounds. A huge crowd turns out for the rodeo every year, which features professional riders, ropers and rodeo clowns. Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and older, $10 for ages 4 to 11, and free for ages 3 and younger. Gates open at 5 p.m. Online ticket sales for the rodeo end Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the rodeo gate beginning at 2 p.m. on Oct. 5. The rodeo goes on, rain or shine.

On Sunday, Oct. 6, all the fair's attractions will be open again at 10 a.m., and special events include the Horse Show at 9 a.m., with divisions for adults and children riders. If it rains, the Horse Show will be held at Bentbrook Farm (2151 Brintons Bridge Rd., West Chester). 
Live entertainment on Sunday includes Matt Cadabra on the Main Stage at 10 a.m. and noon, Dan and Galla performing in the Giggles and Grins area from 11 a.m. to noon, Green Eggs and Jam on the Main Stage from 1 to 3 p.m., and the famous Cow Pie Bingo at 3 p.m. in the paddock area. Closing ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m.  
Updated information is available at The fair is at routes 82 and 926 in Unionville. Parking is $5 per car. 
The schedule includes: 
Friday, Oct. 4 
7 to 8:30 a.m. - Business/craft vendor setup. 
9 a.m. - Fair opens. 
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. - Business and craft vendors. 
9:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. - School tours featuring storyteller and percussion group Drum the Bucket at various times and places. 
9:30 a.m. - Llama Tent opens. 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. - Demonstration Tent, Storytelling Tent. 
2 to 6 p.m. Giggles & Grins. 
4 to 6 p.m. - Dan & Galla on Main Stage. 
7 to 9 p.m. - Family Dance with Dan & Galla in the Dining Tent. 
9 p.m. - Fair closes. 
Saturday, Oct. 5 
9 a.m. - Fair opens. 
9 a.m. - Llama Tent opens. 
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. - Promotional and craft vendors open. 
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. - State Sponsored Baking Contest Entries in the Red Barn. 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. - Giggles and Grins, Demonstration Tent, Storytelling Tent. 
10 to 11 a.m. - Dan & Galla on the Main Stage. 
10 a.m. to noon - Scarecfrow building contest. 
11 to 11:30 a.m. - Storyteller
 in the Storytelling Tent. 
11 a.m. to noon - Community Parade emceed by Dan & Galla at the Main Stage. 
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Drum the Bucket at various venues. 
Noon - Scarecrow judging. 
Noon - Look Like Your Pet Contest with Dan & Galla on the Main Stage 
12:30 to 1 p.m. - Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull sign-up. 
1 p.m. - Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull. 
1 p.m. - Dairy Show. 
2 p.m. - Baking Contest judging. 
5 p.m. - Cow Milking Contest (after the Dairy Show in Dairy Show tent). 
6 to 9 p.m. - Willowdale Pro Rodeo at the Unionville Community Fair. 
9 p.m. - Fair closes. 
Sunday, Oct. 6 
8 a.m. - Horse Show schooling for mini and short stirrup. 
9 a.m. - Horse Show. 
10 a.m. - Fair opens. 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Business and craft vendors, Giggles & Grins, Demonstration Tent, Storytelling Tent. 
11 to 11:30 a.m. - Storyteller in the Storytelling Tent. 
11 a.m. to noon - Dan and Galla at Giggles & Grins. 
Noon to 12:30 pm - Storyteller in the Storytelling Tent. 
3 p.m. - Cow Pie Bingo with Dan and Galla in the paddock area. 
4 p.m. Closing ceremonies with president Jayne Shea and Dan & Galla on the Main Stage. 
4 to 5 p.m. - Premium check pickup in the Red Barn. 
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Exhibit pickup. 
5:30 pm - Auction in the Dining Tent.