Sarah Kuehner was 8 years old when she joined the Carbon County 4H Livestock Club.
The East Penn Township girl's first project was to raise pigs. Now a 19-year-old college student, Kuehner raises award-winning dairy beef cattle.
This year, she is showing her project bovines, Larry and Curly, at the Carbon County Fair. It's a bittersweet time for Kuehner and her parents, Carolyn and Gary. Kuehner is 19, and this is her last year in 4H.
"I'm going to miss it," she said. "There are a lot of good kids in 4H."
On Friday evening, Kuehner, who is studying to become a teacher, sat with her family and some friends, keeping an eye on Larry and Curly, who rested and occasionally nuzzled each other's noses.
The fair, now in its twelfth year, drew large numbers of people on Friday who come to see the cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats, savor Jerusalem Lutheran Church's barbeque or the West Penn Lions Club's famed french fries.
Children shrieked with delight as they spun in giant tea cups, and music lovers of all ages tapped their toes to the sounds of the Cramer Brothers.
Today, the fair features a demolition derby at 6 p.m. in the arena. Penn's Peak Radio and television DJ "The Doctor" will appear at 5:30 p.m. and Elvis impersonator Ryan Pelton will perform at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The fair offers fun for all ages. Gray-haired couples strolled the midway, licked ice cream cones and smiled as they watched tots ride the merry-go-round. Teenagers took their chances at midway games and devoured fresh funnel cakes and cotton candy. Dozens of people of all ages watched the tractor-pull contest in the arena.
The fair was created and is operated through the volunteer efforts of the Carbon County Lion/Lioness Fair Association, Inc. The association includes the Bowmanstown/Parryville Lions, Franklin Township Lions, Lehighton Area Lioness Lions, Mahoning Lions, Palmerton Lions, West Penn Lions and the Jim Thorpe Lioness Clubs.
The fair is off Little Gap Road in Palmerton and runs through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children up to age 10, and includes musical entertainment. Parking is free.