By Fran Maye
Pumpkin-carving, a dairy show, equestrian competition, a celebrity milking contest and a professional rodeo highlight just some of the events slated for the Unionville Community Fair on Oct. 4 to Oct. 6. The fair takes place on the grounds of Landhope Farms, at the intersection of Routes 82 and 926 in Willowdale.
New this year is a health and wellness tent where visitors can get their blood pressure checked.
Also new this year is a parking fee of $5 per car, per day. Jayne Shea, fair organizer, said the fee was necessary due to a lack of volunteers and an increase in events.
“All of the other fairs on the state level charge something,” Shea said. “We have been one of the only free fairs for this long. Most charge for parking and have a gate fee. We’re not charging an admission fee. In the past we’ve asked for donations, but we had to make it official this year.”
Last year, the Unionville Fair raised about $7,000, but half of that was given away to the fair’s beneficiaries, The Barn at Spring Brook Farm the Unionville High School Scholarship Fund and the Chester County Food Bank, Shea said. “People are under the misconception that we make a lot of money,” Shea said. “We are happy if we break even.”
The fair kicks off with a fundraising dinner and auction event called Denim and Diamonds that takes place Oct. 3, with catering from Triple Fresh. One of the auction items is a trip to Disney World. Tickets to this event are available at ucfairinc.org.
During the fair, there will be many contests, including pumpkin carving, scarecrow building, a lip sync contest, a dairy show, cow milking contest and equestrian competition. There will be entertainment every day of the fair, including Celtic music.
The rodeo will be on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. Shea said there is a professional rodeo in Atlantic City the same weekend at the Unionville Fair, which could bring in contestants. Tickets to the rodeo are $15 for those age 12 and over, and $10 for those ages 4 to 11. Tickets can be purchased on the fair’s web site. It is a rain or shine event.
The Fair is being dedicated to a local icon, Del Bittle, who for years donated his stage and organized the entertainment. Local boy scout troops will help set up and tear down the fair.