A 1,200-pound steer didn't intimidate 17-year-old Melissa Nothstein of Lehighton.

The giant, black steer named "Fluffy" glared at Nothstein as she tugged on a rope attached to his collar.

Nothstein didn't even blink. She sternly pulled at the rope and Fluffy gave in, following her to a stall where Nothstein tied him next to a brown heifer named Rosie.

This was a scenario transpiring all summer long at fairs across the country; young children mostly 4-H members handling all types of farm animals.

In this case it was in Palmerton on Sunday where Nothstein was among scores of 4-H members getting their entries ready for the Carbon County Fair which opens today.

The fair is open 3-11 p.m. today through Friday, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, with rides, exhibits, food stands, games of chance, musical entertainment and special events for children.

An opening ceremony is scheduled at 6 p.m. today, which will include the coronation of 2014 Fair Queen.

Competing for queen are Nothstein, Jordan Behrens of Jim Thorpe, and Kaylyn Ahner of Lehighton. The new queen will be crowned by the 2013 Fair Queen Carissa Troxell.

Bob Silliman, president of the Carbon County Fair, said everything is set to go for the opening of thefair.

"We'll be ready," he said. "We are absolutely beyond our limits," noting that all concession space is filled.

Silliman said the fair has 2,800 exhibits this year.

Silliman said that the fair has grown, but it might be another three years before it moves to a larger site.

Admission price is $5 per person for ages 6 and older. Ride specials of $12 per child up to age 12 from 4-10 p.m. Monday and Thursday, $18 from 4-10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and $20 from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday.

"We have several new rides," Silliman said. "Among them is a Zip Line. We are always trying to entice young people to come to the fair."

Another new ride is a type of Yo Yo which looks like a chair ride, but lifts high into the air, Silliman said.

One of the special events tonight is country line dancing with DJ Chicken Nugget from 7-10 p.m.

"We understand he has a pretty good following," Silliman said.

State Rep. Doyle Heffley was among the volunteers setting up one of the stands at the fair.

He said he'll be at the fair just about every day. "I love fair food," he said, noting he always adds a few pounds during fair week.

"I think the fair has come a long way," Heffley said. "The Lions Clubs have done a great job," referring to the several Carbon County Lions Clubs which sponsor the event.

Heffley said he's especially impressed with the 4-H members, many who camp out all week with their animals.

He said the theme of the fair, "Treasure the Memories," shows it is place where people can come and meet old friends, new friends, and neighbors.

Today, Tracy Lee and the Ravine Road Band play country music with shows at 5, 7:30 and 9 p.m.

Fireworks are set for 10:15 p.m.

A garden tractor pull will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Musical entertainment is a British Invasion Tribute at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.