The 100th Greene-Dreher-Sterling (GDS) Fair gets underway in Newfoundland, PA this Friday evening, August 25. It runs through Sunday, September 3rd.
NEWFOUNDLAND - The 100th Greene-Dreher-Sterling (GDS) Fair gets underway in Newfoundland, PA this Friday evening, August 25. It runs through Sunday, September 3rd.
A small, country fair, the GDS Fair has maintained its traditions while introducing innovations and new events, Andy Weist, Fair President said.
To help commemorate their centennial, they are bringing back a few favorites from years and even decades back.
A full-fledged rodeo takes place Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m., in the arena. A few years ago the Dave Martin rodeo company had a bull riding event, but this year they’ll have a real rodeo, Weist said.
Outhouse Racing returns. This hilarious event hasn’t been held at the fair in probably 20 or 25 years, he stated. Watch as the outhouses hurry down the track, Monday, August 28 at 7 p.m.
Something new for the 2017 fair edition is “Farmer Olympics”, Wednesday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the arena.
The American Racing Mower Association brings lawn mower races to a new level, Friday, September 1st from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Weist said that these are not ordinary lawn mowers heading down the track. The souped-up, modified lawn tractors travel a national circuit in a competitive race.
Skelley Amusements provides the rides and many concessions. This year they are bringing a HUGE Ferris wheel, with gondolas and a “lot of lights,” Weist said. He estimated that the Ferris wheel usually seen at the fair is only a third the size of this one.
“If nothing else gets your attention, come and have a ride on this Ferris wheel,” he said.
Among the many musical performances is a very special concert with Audra McLaughlin, from NBC-TV’s program, “The Voice.” Audra will be singing Saturday, August 26, with the show starting at 8 p.m.
Demolition Derby is held twice- on Friday, Aug. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. in the arena.
Reflecting on the legacy of the GDS Fair, Weist said that they they have tried to maintain their traditions, while adapting to changing times. The budget is always a challenge, he noted, with the high costs of entertainment.
Many dedicated volunteers, with a long passion for the GDS Fair, some of whom grew up with it, make the fair happen year after year. It takes many months of planning and preparing.
“We hope to have a great fair and hopefully have great weather,” he said.
This is the third year that the fair has had an early start. In 2015 they went from seven day event to nine and a half, still ending on Labor Day. Last year this was adapted, to stop on Sunday night of Labor Day Weekend.
Labor Day isn’t what it used to be, marking a grand summer finale, Weist noted. Many people who visit the area are heading home on Monday, Labor Day.
Admission to the fairgrounds varies. It is $8.00 on Fri., Aug. 25, Sat., Aug. 26 and Sun., Aug. 27, as well as on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 1-3. Admission is only $6.00, Monday-Thursday. It’s Seniors Day, on Tuesday and Thursday when senior citizens get in for $3.00. On Wednesday, veterans showing an identification, are admitted for only $3.00.
There’s over 5,000 agricultural exhibits, live music every day, free parking, lots of food and games. There’s lots of contests, such as a baby competition, the Fair Queen pageant, frog jumping and more.
There’s a Power Wheels Derby, truck pull, magic and comedy show, Fireman’s competition, Livestock Animal Dress Up Day, a milking the cow competition, ribbon winning jams and jellies, photos, quilting, art, needlework and plenty more.
At the Opening Ceremonies, Friday, August 25 at 4 p.m., there will be a GDS Fair 100th anniversary birthday cake, Weist said. The Fair Queen Pageant follows at 5:30 p.m.
Park across the street in the Carlton Drake Memorial Park and take the free shuttle to the entry gate. The fairgrounds are behind and next to the Wallenpaupack South Elementary School, off Route 507/191 (Main Street) in Newfoundland.
See the whole schedule at www.gdsfair.com or in a brochure, or call 570-676-4057 for more information.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A feature on the 100-year history of the GDS Fair is planned for the Wednesday, August 30th edition. If you’d like to share your GDS Fair memories or photos, please contact Peter Becker at 570-226-4547, firstname.lastname@example.org.