The 2017 Kempton Fair June 15 to 17 at the Kempton Community Center featured three days of viewing beautifully formed and cared-for livestock; graphic, horticultural, and culinary artistic expression; regionally famous musical talent; kids having non-computer-based fun with rides, games, and theater; fire-spewing truck and tractor power pulls and truck drag races; startlingly impressive fireworks; grown men trying to look like Willie Nelson; beautifully restored farm and garden implements; impressive new farming equipment; and, of course, amazing food to eat!
Sponsored by the Kempton Community Center, the refurbished event brought new energy and new direction, but with more of the old-timey feel of yesteryear. The “Kempton Country Fair” of recent years, an organization separate from KCC, has changed its name and location.
Country fairs are complicated, demanding of people’s skills and resources, and heavily dependent on the alignment of the planets and stars – and the weather – to make them successful. Started exactly 50 years ago, back when a young and not-yet-famous Willie Nelson graced our stage, the Kempton Fair has enjoyed steadily increasing popularity due to the hard work of many devoted volunteers over the decades. Happily, this year’s event, with a somewhat modified format from previous years, was a resounding success by any standard.
For the last decade or so another entity has run a country fair in Kempton. This year the non-profit Kempton Community Center itself put the event together, making it a “new” fair in the eyes of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. To establish the Kempton Fair again as an official state fair, and to receive those important state grants, the Kempton Community Center must run the event for three years to qualify. We’re on our way!