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Issue Home August 11, 2007 Site Home

13 Days Sailing For Sea Scouts
Harford Fair Receives Improvement Funds
Pennstar Supports Go Joe
It’s The 150th Harford Fair!

13 Days Sailing For Sea Scouts
Submitted By Ben Fisher, Crew Leader

On July 8, Sea Scout Ship North Star 90 left New Milford for their two-week long cruise aboard the ketch “Der PeLiKan” that was docked in the Solomons, MD; this ketch is a 46-foot, two-masted sailboat owned by the Friends of Sea Scouting, Maryland. The plan was to circumnavigate the Delmar Peninsula of Delaware and Maryland, a voyage of some 450 nautical miles on the lower Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, back into the upper Chesapeake Bay, and on to Baltimore, Maryland.

“Der PeLiKan” anchored at Grog Island for swim call. Pictured (l-r) are Tim and Dan Gall, Commodore Ron Hall, Skipper Chuck Jaget, and Second Mate Helen Reed on the ladder.

On the first day of sailing on the way to Tangier Island, the Sea Scouts practiced man overboard drills. Departing from Tangier Island, we sailed to Grog Island with all sails set and making seven knots. At Grog Island we encountered three other Sea Scout vessels and promptly hoisted our Sea Scout ensign (flag) and the jolly roger flag. After a brief swim over the side, all four Sea Scout vessels sailed to Fishing Bay Marina and anchored for the night. The next day found the “Der PeLiKan” under full sail again, heading for Hampton, VA with an escort of dolphins swimming alongside much of the way. The Sea Scouts anchored for several days at Hampton so we could tour Jamestown, Yorktown Battlefield, several mariners’ museums and sail by the Norfolk Naval Base where British and American war ships were docked, including the carrier Eisenhower and the battleship Wisconsin. On Sunday, Captain Steve Nicholas boarded the “Der PeLiKan.” We rigged the sailboat for ocean sailing with safety lines attached to the deck, and hoisted Sea Scout Dan Gall to the top of the main mast in the boatswain chair while underway the next day to make emergency repairs to the Genoa sail. We sailed day and night, as much as ten miles from the coast, for the next 32 hours to reach Delaware Bay the next day in a very heavy morning fog. We had to navigate by radar from a coastal pilot station to stay clear of the many commercial vessels, ferry, and a tall ship coming in to Delaware Bay.

We docked in Lewis, Delaware, where the Sea Scouts from SSS Eagle gave us a tour of the area, including a tour of the Swedish tall ship “Kalmer Nyckel,” even helping with her mooring lines when she docked. The crew of the Sea Scout Ship Eagle 198 invited the Sea Scouts of Ship 90 to their skipper, Al Herman’s home for a picnic.

The final leg of the voyage took the crew of Ship 90 into the C & D canal, into the upper Chesapeake Bay, and on to Baltimore, MD two days later and a day ahead of schedule, due to fair winds and often sailing at seven to eight knots, and once even sailing at 9.9 knots under full sail.

Crew from Ship 90 were Boatswain Mate Dan Gall, Crew Leaders Ben Fisher, Tim Gall and Sea Scout Josh Warner, Skipper Chuck Jaget, Second Mate Helen Reed and Commodore Ron Hall. The Sea Scouts did all the navigation and piloting and are well on their way to earn their next Sea Scout rank. Ship 90 arrived back in New Milford on July 20 a little after 9:00 p.m.

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Harford Fair Receives Improvement Funds

County and community fairs across Pennsylvania will be able to enhance and expand their facilities with $750,000 in matching grants, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced.

Under the capital improvement matching grant program, fairs receive funding for maintenance and improvement projects. Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff chairs the Fair Advisory Board, which approves the grants – part of the larger, $4 million Pennsylvania Fair Fund.

This year, the board approved 55 project applications for funding in the 2007-08 fiscal year. Locally, approved projects included $25,000 to the Harford Fair, to construct a new stage in the Main Arena.

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Pennstar Supports Go Joe

Pennstar Bank Regional Manager, Robert Welch (left) recently presented a check in the amount of $250.00 to Joe Snedeker (right), weatherman for WNEP-TV, on his stop at Montrose during the annual “Go Joe” X” bike ride to benefit St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, PA. Local donations collected over the past 10 years of Joe’s annual  ride are nearing over the  $1 million mark.  St. Joseph’s Center specializes in treating special needs children. St. Joseph’s Festival topped off the festivities on July 29 at Marywood University.

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It’s The 150th Harford Fair!

The 150th Harford Fair will be a week for the history books, offering hundreds of one-of-a-kind stories. A record attendance of 80,000 is anticipated for events as wide-ranging as women throwing skillets and men throwing hay bales, celebratory parades, traditional 4-H animal judging, concerts, and demonstrations... the list goes on and on.

Every activity is interesting, but one of the most fascinating stories is how the Harford Fair has become a labor of love for all the communities nestled between Scranton/Wilkes Barre and Binghamton, and how they have continued to cultivate the fair’s unique agricultural character while appealing to a broad audience.

Volunteer teams have been busy completing a new stage for the main arena, along with other infrastructure enhancements on the fairgrounds. On farms across the region cattle, poultry, pigs and goats have been groomed and trained for exhibition. Artists have put finishing touches on paintings, photographs, needlework, quilts and carvings for judging, and gardeners have plucked, pruned and otherwise coddled vegetables and flowers to see who can grow the best and take home special 150th anniversary ribbons. It is what they have done every summer in this part of the Endless Mountains, but this year there is even more passion and enthusiasm to bring their best to this milestone fair.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 19, at 7:30 p.m.

General Admission will be Monday, August 20 through Saturday, August 25.

Gates open at 8:00 a.m. every day; buildings open at 10:00 a.m. (except Monday at noon) and close at 10:00 p.m. daily

150th Celebration Highlights

· Parades on the fairgrounds on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

· Celebration cake served to fairgoers will be decorated by students from Mountain View School District.

· 40-foot long panoramic mural created by local college students Cari Reynolds and Kelly Finan.

· Storytelling by Lisa Facciponti.

· Binghamton High School Steel Drum Band.

· Highwheelers – antique bicycle exhibit.

Traditional Harford Fair Activities:

· Horse pull.

· Daily exhibitions of cows, swine, goats, poultry, rabbits and other local livestock.

· Baby Show.

· Baked goods judging, and pie and cake auction.

· Farmer for a Day.

· Horse shows.

Offbeat Fun:

· School House 150 Competition –a fun competition of just about anything made with 150 parts.

· Women’s Skillet Throwing Contest.

· Children’s Greased Pole Climbing Contest.

· Elephant Encounter.

· Animal Costume Ball.

· Turkey Calling Contest.

Intimate Entertainment in Harford’s Relaxing Shade Pavilion:

· Lenoxville Band.

· Music by Mike Lewis (yes, he’s more than a news anchor).

· Magic by Jeremy Biesecker.

· Big Tiny Young.

· Sparks Gospel Singers.

· Aaron Kelly (a legend in the works).

Grandstand Entertainment:

. Lee Greenwood (Country Music).

· Heartland (Country Music).

· Phil Dirt and the Dozers (vintage Rock and Roll with the Classic Car Show).

· Jason Michael Carroll (Country Music).

Action in Every Direction:

· Falling Angels Sky Diving.

· Truck and Tractor Pulls.

· Demolition Derby.

· Rawhide Rodeo.

· Woodsmen’s Contests.

· Garden Tractor Pulls.

· S & S Amusements.

Cultural Demonstrations:

· Wool spinning.

· Portable sawmill.

· Masters of the Chainsaw (woodcarving with a chainsaw) demos every day, auction of fair-made items on Saturday.

· Rocking horse traditions.

Family Interest:

· Health Screening Program.

· Child Identification Program (by 15th District Masons).

Visitor Information:

Location: Harford, Pennsylvania.

Exit 217, I-81; 26 miles north of Scranton, 25 miles south of Binghamton.

Family Days on Monday and Friday.

Senior Citizen Day on Wednesday (60 and older).

Free admittance: Children under 12 years of age (with adult), members of the Armed Forces in uniform and Scouts in uniform.

Parking is free, with frequent shuttle service for those who desire it.

Reserved grandstand seating for select entertainment varies (see web site).

The fairgrounds are handicapped accessible.

Personal pets are not permitted, however, service animals are allowed.

150th Harford Fair Background:

Nestled in the rolling Endless Mountains of Susquehanna County the residents of bucolic Harford enjoy a simple, quiet existence for fifty-one weeks a year. However, everything changes during the third full week of August when approximately 80,000,000 visitors from near and far come to celebrate a long standing tradition, the Harford Fair. What is it about this simple country fair that draws such a diverse crowd? This fair is one of the few truly agricultural country fairs in existence today. This year, August 20-25, 2007, the fair will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Officially known as the Harford Agricultural Society, the first fair, with seventy-six members, was held November 9, 1858, in the sheds around the First Congregational Church in the town of Harford. One of the first exhibits recorded was five heads of cabbage, each weighing seventeen pounds. The finale that first year was fifty yoke of oxen connected with one chain, parading through the town and drawing several wagons with the Directors and Officials. The one-day event was moved to October a few years later and the entrance fee was ten cents. The main attractions were speakers, brass bands, plowing matches, and, of course, the agricultural displays. The fair became a two-day event in 1865.

In 1880, the 117-acre fair grounds hosted 1,000 teams of oxen and 3,500 people. While the acreage has remained the same, the number of exhibitors, visitors, and entertainers has grown, as has the length of the fair. Now a six-day fair with twenty-three different departments within the fair, it provides opportunities for young and old alike to exhibit handcrafts, agricultural items, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, animals, photography and art work. Last year’s fair featured 1,539 exhibitors, displaying 7,519 items for competition. There are 209 commercial space renters who display their wares as well.

The first premium book (or fair book as it is commonly known) was printed in 1903. Features of the fair in the early 1900’s were the first automobile and victrola, a merry-go-round, wire walkers, drum corps, fireworks, an occasional circus, and local bands. Since its first performance in 1940, the Lenoxville Band continues to entertain fair-goers in the Shade Pavilion as well as various other locations around the grounds.

The 150th Celebration Planning Committee, along with the 12 members of the Board of Directors, the fair secretary and the office staff have worked diligently to make the event something truly memorable. In addition to the popular annual events of the rodeo, the horse and tractor pulls, the woodsmen’s contest and the demolition derby, new attractions will provide some old-fashioned fun. They include a women’s skillet throw, a men’s hay bale toss, a children’s greased pole contest, a male and female wheelbarrow race and a watermelon bubble bursting contest. The paved paths around the grounds will feature parades on Monday and Wednesday afternoons with community participation.

From the diaper-clad to the octogenarian, there is something for everyone at the Harford Fair. Play “Farmer for a Day,” learn how bees make honey, or milk a goat. Interesting artifacts which give an overview of the history of the fair can be seen in the New Log Cabin. Hungry? Let the dining hall crew heap your plate full of real home cookin’, sink your teeth into a funnel cake, potato pancake, corn on the cob, or baked potato. The fair is a guilt-free zone! Whatever tickles your taste buds can be found at the Harford Fair. Collect five wooden nickels (watch for them throughout the summer) and redeem them for a free ice cream cone.

The brand new enlarged stage will host country singer Lee Greenwood on Wednesday evening, and the country western group Heartland and singer Jason Michael Carroll on Thursday evening.

Throughout fair week, thirteen different acts will perform in the Shade Pavilion, providing constant entertainment in a comfortable, seated area. The Elephant Encounter will perform twice daily and the “Masters of the Chainsaw” artist will demonstrate each day and his menagerie of creations will be auctioned off to the public on Saturday afternoon.

Everyone Loves a Parade – and there’s a place for everyone in this parade!

The Harford Fair 150th Celebration Planning Committee has many special events for fair goers this year. One of those is the revival of the “on the fairgrounds parade” and will take place on Monday and Wednesday of the fair. You are invited to show off your talent, pride, creativity and fun side by participating in the parade on either day or both days if you so choose. It is a great opportunity for groups, organizations, businesses, farms, families and friends to get together and plan their entry for this landmark fair.

The parade theme, “Celebrating 150 Years of Tradition” is to celebrate the agricultural traditions of Susquehanna County and will be conducted entirely within the fairgrounds, starting and finishing near the third gate. The line of march will go from the horse barn, down in front of the 4-H building, up the central road past the Secretary’s Office, turn left at the Vegetable Hall and move down past the Dining Hall, circling back at the Poultry Building and then moving through the grandstand arena for the finale where each entry will be announced and judged.

Think big on a small scale for this anniversary party on the move. Floats must be less than 8.5 feet wide in order to navigate the parade route. Why not decorate your bicycle, wheelbarrow, tractor, ATV or small vehicle? Turn a wagon into a float or get a group together to march, perform or dance. Perhaps your group had a float in the 4th of July parade in Montrose. Why not bring it to the Harford Fair parade? Because of insurance regulations, no animals are allowed in the parade.

A $75.00 cash prize will be awarded both Monday and Wednesday in each of five categories: float best depicting the theme, heritage costume, clown/street entertainer, marching or performing group and vehicle other than a float. Those who participate in both parades have the opportunity to win $100.00 for one of the overall special awards: Prudence Clark Award for the best entry depicting fair history; Fair Director’s Award for the most entertaining unit; and the “Mooving” Award representing local agriculture.

Guidelines and entry blanks are available on the web site or can be picked up at the fair office. If you have questions, contact Phil Wirth at 434-2407.

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