The 15th annual Carbon County Fair kicked off Monday at the fairgrounds along Little Gap Road in Palmerton amid much fanfare.

This is the first year the fair opened on a Monday. It will continue through Saturday.

Robert Silliman, fair president, said, "Being a Class A fair, the fair directors evaluated everything in terms of setup, and thought it would be a great opportunity," Silliman said.

"Apparently it worked; it was the best opening day since 2009, at least."

The fair began with its traditional opening ceremony, with Judy Borger serving as mistress of ceremonies.

After the invocation by Jane Longazel, Borger led the Pledge of Allegiance. Martha Moyer sang the national anthem.

The Color Guard & Gun Salute was conducted by the Palmerton United Veterans Organization.

Borger then introduced the many dignitaries who were on hand: Vincent J. Kundrik III, congressional aide for Congressman Lou Barletta; Bill Richards, who represented state Sen. John T. Yudichak; state Rep. Doyle Heffley; and state Rep. Jerry Knowles.

Also in attendance were Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek; Lower Towamensing Township Supervisor Jesse Mendez; and Lions District 14-U District Gov. Sharon Kimmel, among them.

Heffley told the audience the day marked "a great day at the fair," adding that more than 100 vendors are participating.

"Here we are 15 years later, and we're still going strong," Mendez said.

Barron "Boots" L. Hetherington, special adviser to the governor, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, then presented a check for $20,548 through the Pennsylvania State Fair Fund, as well as a $2,200 check through the Carbon County Commissioners Hotel Tax Grant.

Earlier in the day, there was a Livestock show, which included 4-H & Open Dairy Goat; 4-H Market Goat and 4-H & Open Market Breeding Goat.

Later on, those who craved entertainment were able to see Tracy Lee & The Ravine Road Band perform on the main stage.

Others took the opportunity to line dance courtesy of DJ Chicken Nugget.

Of course, no fair would be complete without food.

Just ask Ashton Wentz, 6, of Franklin Township, who could be observed eating a mound of butterfly chips.

His mom, Deanna, said, "We come here every year. My family is in 4-H."

"It's really fun being here with all the rides and the exhibits," Ashton's sister Brynn said.

Aside from the food, children had plenty of rides.

That fact wasn't lost on Rich and Meredith Dankanis of Albrightsville who brought their children, Ryan, 6, and Cooper, 4, to the event.