As of June 1st, there were 100 days until the 2019 York Fair! Finally, winter has ended, and spring is starting to transform into summer. The staff of the York Fair is hard at work planning for the September 6th opening of the 254th York Fair, and I wanted to take this month’s blog to fill you in on some of the details of what is being worked on.
First, in exciting news, we welcomed two new summer interns to our staff last month! Michelle Stagaard is from Phillipsburg, New Jersey and attends York College while Ashlyn Burkholder is from Gettysburg and attends Bloomsburg University. They will both be working very closely with our Marketing Department and various staff members and event coordinators as we immerse them into the “fair experience”. That is a term I do not use lightly, as working as an administrative staff member for a fair is unlike anything they have ever done or been a part of. The excitement building up to the Fair all summer, followed by the many 14- or 16-hour days during the Fair, and then the relief and even the letdown when it all ends will be an experience they will never forget. And who knows? By the middle of September, they may be hooked on the Fair industry like the rest of our staff are!
Since my last post, we have finalized our 2019 York Fair Grandstand of Stars entertainment lineup and tickets for all shows are now on sale. I am pleased to report to you that sales are very brisk for these concerts and we are anticipating some of these shows to set some records for us. As I have stated before one of my goals as CEO has been to upgrade the concert lineup and I feel like this year we have been able to do that. We are thrilled to announce the first opening night concert in years will be country music superstar Brad Paisley! We will have six concerts that offer something for everyone. In addition, we are excited to say that the 4th Annual Monster Truck Fall Bash will make its return to the Fair, along with the well-known J&J Demolition Derby!
Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing the Fairground Fun attractions for the 2019 York Fair. While I can’t officially reveal the who’s and what’s, I can give you some hints. Between a 9 foot tall attraction that you can’t miss roaming the Fairgrounds, a very loud show that will throw you back to the daredevil days of fairs, a few returning fan-favorite shows and attractions (including one that hasn’t been at the York Fair for a few years), I believe you will find plenty of shows and activities to keep both you and your family entertained.
I am also very excited that our Ag Education Center will be relocating and expanding. Located this year in Memorial Hall West, the Ag Education Center will be more than double in size with all kinds of fun and educational opportunities for kids and families alike.
We have also undertaken an initiative to launch a year-round Agricultural Education Program. For this endeavor, we participated in Give Local York’s annual One Day Fundraiser. Through donations, over $7,100 was raised to assist in starting this program, with aim to provide educational assistance to school districts on Agriculture. We are exploring other funding opportunities as well, which we believe will lead this program to one day become a major asset to our community.
In addition, more fair changes for 2019 include commercial vendors moving to Memorial Hall East and our Veterans Groups taking over Heritage Hall. These are but the first set of changes to the York Fair layout that will begin to give the Fair a new look as we move into 2020.
Concessions and Vendor contracts are coming in right at the same pace as last year. We are excited to announce that you’ll be able to try some new food items at the 2019 York Fair (more details on that in future blog posts), but of course, your all-time fair favorites will be here as well. In addition, gourmet Lane will feature a new Wine Garden and you’re going to notice some other exciting changes that will be announced later throughout the Fair.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be meeting with Deggeller Attractions to talk about the 2019 York Fair Midway and finalize plans for rides, games and many of the attractions that make the Fair as fun as it is! With 50 rides the York Fair midway is one of the largest in the entire region, and we are fortunate to be able to continue our relationship with the Deggeller’s for four more York Fairs!
Currently, our crews are freshening up the facility as we gear up for several large events that lead up to the Fair. This past weekend we hosted the 46th annual NSRA Street Rods Nationals East with more than 3,500 street rods from across the eastern United States. Other notable large public events will be, The Mid-Atlantic’s All -Subaru Shootout and Showoff on June 16th, The 24th annual All Breeds Jeep Show presented by PA Jeeps during July 20th and 21st, The 44th Annual International Convention of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association from August 5th through August 10th and , Good Guys Great American National’s Show from August 16th through the 18th along with several private trade shows, conventions and events.
Summer always brings a new sense of anticipation to the Fairgrounds every year and it is certainly no exception, as we enter what promises to be a very busy season at the York Expo Center.
Until July, may all your days be Fair days!
York Fair/York Expo Center