May 2019


May 2019 – The York Fair is making significant strides into community, young-adult, and youth involvement. The Fair is working towards engaging students into its planning process for the 2019 and 2020 York Fair. Part of this process included hiring two summer Marketing and Public Relation interns. These interns will play a key role in helping to promote events, such as various head liners, competitive exhibits, and other eye-catching entertainment.


The York Fair is pleased to announce its recent hire of Michelle Stagaard, a senior Public Relations major attending York College of Pennsylvania and Ashlyn Burkholder, a senior Communication Studies major attending Bloomsburg University. Their positions will serve in several roles including the planning, marketing and communications to promote the York Fair via various social media sites and different advertising resources.


“Since my first year attending York College, I constantly heard word of the York Fair. It was not until I attended the Fair that I realized how immense of a deal it really was. When I heard of an internship position opening, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand my Public Relations and Marketing skills at a place I have come to admire.”, explained Stagaard.


“Growing up around agriculture and being involved with 4-H clubs and the National FFA organization, the agriculture industry has always held a special place in my heart. I’m excited to take on a position that incorporates an industry that I am passionate about as I explore my area of study.”, expressed Burkholder.


““This is the second year we’ve utilized college Interns and we are very excited to have Michelle and Ashlyn join our team for the summer.  They’re going to get to experience all the efforts that go into producing a successful Fair and will no doubt learn a lot while they are with us.” Stated CEO Bryan Blair.



April 2019 – The York Fair is making significant strides into community involvement and engagement, planning the 2020 York Fair, and creating awareness for agriculture education. Part of this process included hiring on a full time Director of Ag Education. The York Fair will be expanding the ever-popular Ag Education Center this year, highlighting the importance of educating our youth and community about agriculture.

The York Fair is pleased to announce its recent hire of Nicole Groff, a 2015 Penn State University graduate with a degree in Animal Science. Groff’s position will serve in several roles including the planning, coordination and management of the Ag Education Center during the York Fair, as well as developing and maintaining strong relationships with 4-H, FFA and other youth related programs throughout York County.

“For my family the York Fair is a tradition, from my grandfather, to my mother, myself, and hopefully one day our family’s next generation. I am excited to be giving back and working to preserve our agricultural heritage while helping take the York Fair to the next level.”, explained Groff.

“Not only does Nicole bring a passion for the York Fair and agriculture, but over the last four years she has developed contacts in the ag community that will prove helpful in uniting forces as we strengthen the agriculture component of the York Fair and York Expo Center year-round. We are also hopeful about opportunities to partner with local school districts to install an agricultural education supplement to classroom instruction during the school year.” Stated Bryan Blair, CEO.

The York County Agricultural Society knows this is a step forward in making the York Fair and York Expo Center relevant to its agricultural grassroots, and to also reaching out with an educational component to youth across our region.


More than twenty-seven years after Travis Tritt launched his music career, the Southern rock influenced artist continues to display strong sales activity, sell-out shows, and stay true and relevant to country music fans across the globe. Continuously performing shows and withholding a heavy appearance schedule, Tritt is proving to be unstoppable.

His conspicuous lack of a cowboy hat and musical aggressiveness sets him apart. He’s received several Grammys, and numerous CMA Awards to date. Recently, Tritt topped the SoundScan Top
200 Catalog Country Albums chart for over 60 consecutive weeks with 15 weeks spent at No. 1 and over 35 weeks notched at the Top 5 position. Tritt’s compilation album, Very Best of Travis Tritt, which was released in 2007, saw a resurgence of sales that started in November of 2014. The 20-track album features some of Tritt’s biggest hits, including “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”, “Here’s A Quarter”, and “Anymore”. Tritt is already continuing his momentum into 2019 with the Outlaws & Renegades Tour.

From his award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. Charlie began his career playing bluegrass music with the Misty Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in 1967, he began making a name for himself as a songwriter, session musician and producer. Elvis Presley recorded a tune Charlie co-wrote titled “It Hurts Me”, which was released on the flip side of “Kissin Cousins”.

His own unique voice as an artist emerged as Charlie recorded his self-titled solo album in 1970 for Capitol Records. Two years later he formed the Charlie Daniels Band and the group scored its first hit with the top ten “Uneasy Rider”. Since then the CDB has populated radio with such memorable hits, including his signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.

“I love what I do”, says Charlie of his 60-plus years in the music business. “I look forward to entertaining people. When show time gets here, I’m ready to go, ready to go play for them. It’s a labor
of love. I just thank God I make a living at what I enjoy doing”.

The Outlaws & Renegades Tour featuring Travis Tritt & the Charlie Daniels Band will be coming to the York Fair on Thursday, September 12 at 7pm showtime. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, January 19 at 9:00 am. Tickets will be available at, or by phone order (717)-848-2033. Ticket prices will range from $35 to $20, advance purchase includes admission to the Fair.


November 28, 2018 – Bryan Blair, incoming CEO of the York Fair was recognized at the 128th Annual Convention of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) as a graduate of the Institute of Fair Management.

Launched in 2007, The Institute consists of a series of courses covering the areas of core competency necessary for today’s industry professional and volunteers involved in the production of their agricultural fair. Courses include management, risk management, marketing, programming, operations and year-round facility usage.

Blair enrolled in the program in 2015 and was one of 38 graduates honored at the IAFE Convention this year. Currently, there are more than 215 individuals enrolled in the Institute of Fair Management from across the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Bryan Blair became General Manager of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair and Agricultural Exposition in November of 2014 following a six-year stint at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville where he was an Expositions Administrator managing Sponsorships for the National Farm Machinery Show, Kentucky State Fair and the North American International Livestock Exposition. Prior to joining the Kentucky Exposition Center staff in 2009, he had served as a charter board member and Past President of the Taylor County Fair in Campbellsville, KY. Blair served as a Program and News Director, as well as a Sports Information Director at Campbellsville University in Kentucky- providing him with extensive experience and knowledge in broadcasting and media communications. Blair was also named the Kentucky Fair Person of the year in 2001 by the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows. Blair joined the York Fair staff right before the 2018 York Fair as Chief Operating Officer, and in January will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer.

The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields.

From The CEO’s Desk- May Edition

Two of the main components of any Fair that are sometimes overlooked by the general public are Agriculture and Education.

Fairs across the world are rooted in Agriculture as many were founded in an era that featured most people growing and producing their own food.   While the history of Fairs is extensive there is no doubt that it is steeped in agricultural traditions.   Early Fairs became an annual event for farmers to showcase their crops and/or harvest, to show off their livestock for bragging rights and to inspect the latest farm equipment.   As time passed homemaking exhibits and competitions were added to showcase the skills that many women had perfected in cooking, textiles and various other areas.  Through the years the presence of agriculture has been the focal point and the purpose of Fairs.

Fairs have also had an extensive history from an educational standpoint of teaching and offering new learning opportunities.  Whether learning came from an exchange of information between exhibitors, looking at displays to see new and best practices in Agriculture or through formal seminars and sessions, Fairs have always been at the forefront in combining Agriculture and Education.

Fast forward into the modern era of Fairs and over the last few decades with the rapid disappearance of the family farm across the landscape of our country, Fairs have taken on even more of a role in Agriculture education.

According to the USDA Agriculture Census, over a ten-year period from 2007 to 2017 the number of farms in the United States dropped by over 162,000.    In Pennsylvania alone the state had nearly 10,000 fewer farms in 2017 than it did just a decade earlier.   Not only are the number of farms dropping, but even more eye opening is the fact that as urban sprawl continues to spread, we are seeing a significant drop in the number of acres of farm land.   The state of Pennsylvania lost 530,576 acres of farm land from 2007 through 2017 – equivalent to 829 square miles or nearly twice the size of New York City.

As the landscape shifts, the Agriculture industry is constantly evolving and at times finding new ways to move forward.   Urban Farming, Hydroponics, sustaining eco-systems, GMO’s and many other more recent developments in Agriculture have taken key roles in the future of Agriculture, but seem somewhat foreign and unexplained to many people.

You may be wondering why I’ve mentioned all of this and how it relates to what we are trying to accomplish at the York Fair.   The answer is quite simple.   Considering the history of Fairs that are steeped in Agriculture, the disappearance of Farms and the new practices that are being established a Fair is the perfect place to continue to educate the public about Agriculture.

As we work to take the York Fair back to its historical roots and traditions, the presence and promotion of Agriculture is absolutely one of our main focuses.  To this end I’m very excited to tell you about some of the things we are doing as we begin to promote and educate our fair guests on Agriculture.

First, we have created a new full-time staff position of Director of Agriculture Education and I am pleased to inform you that Nicole Groff has joined our team in this role.   Nicole has a very strong Agriculture background and has a strong passion for the York Fair.  In fact, she was our very first York Fair Queen back in 2013.

Our goal with this new position is to not only work closely with all Ag related components of the York Fair but to also become a resource for public and private school systems throughout the year and assist them in various ways with Ag Education.   We can envision assisting teachers with curriculum materials, field trips, perhaps developing a speakers bureau of local Agriculture professionals who would be willing to assist taking Agriculture to the students and when we think big and way into the future maybe even a mobile Agriculture classroom that we could take to schools and other events.  Nicole will also plan and oversee the Ag Education Center at the annual York Fair which may also be set up and operated for a couple of weeks in the winter to provide an opportunity for field trips in conjunction with classroom instruction.

Speaking of the Ag Education Center, I am thrilled to announce that it will be growing for the 2019 York Fair.  Started just two short years ago, the Ag Education Center has been housed in Heritage Hall and has proven to be a popular exhibit for families and children.    This year during the Fair the Ag Education Center will be relocated to Memorial Hall West which will almost double the amount of space and provide air conditioning for the exhibit and our Fair guests. We have set a lofty goal with the additional space of becoming one of the premiere Ag Education exhibits in the nation.

While there is no questioning that the York Fair has evolved and changed with York County throughout the last few decades to a more urbanized feel, our mission is to bring back a renewed sense of Agriculture involvement at the Fair.   Our plan is to also build a strong bridge between the York Fair and York County 4-H and the various Future Farmers of America chapters around the region along with other Agriculture groups and organizations.   These young adults are the very future of Agriculture and can mold and shape even younger children with their leadership and visibility.  This is another key component of having a strong and visible Ag Education Center at the York Fair.

I also should add that we are working on improving other areas of the York Fair as well and I believe over the next two years you will notice some remarkable improvements.   This year our two main focuses have been the Ag Ed Center and improving our Grandstand Entertainment lineup.   For 2020 you are going to see an all new look in terms of the layout of the Fair, more improved Grandstand Entertainment options and we will unveil a new marketing campaign that will offer a fresh perspective of the York Fair all while continuing to be “America’s First Fair”.

Until June, may all your days be Fair days!

Bryan Blair
York Fair/York Expo Center
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