Today the 12th annual Carbon County Fair that is sponsored by the Carbon County Lion/Lioness Fair Association, Inc. gets under way.

The fair is held along the Little Gap Highway, a short distance east of Palmerton. It's easy to find and there is plenty of parking.

Hopefully, you'll patronize the fair.

For well over 100 years, until 1992, a Carbon County Fair was held in Lehighton. Then the Lehighton Area School District purchased the Lehighton Fairgrounds and for nearly a decade no fair was held.

The Carbon County Lion/Lioness Fair Association was formed when members of various Lions Clubs saw the need for such an event; specifically for the benefit of local youth who work hard to do something positive.

The association is comprised of 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 has been growing each year. Besides highlighting 4-H projects, the fair has live entertainment, rides, plenty of food stands, a midway, and educational exhibits.

A highlight is the 4-H Livestock Sale on Saturday at 1 p.m. during which 4-H members sell their pigs, steers, sheep, goats, and other animals they raised to the highest bidders. The money they get for the animals is usually applied to their next year's 4-H project.

The history of local fairs goes back hundreds of years. In the United States, fairs draw in as many as 150 million people each summer.

There are many good reasons so many people flock to the fairs. They meet old friends and find new ones. There is a lot to see and do. The musical entertainment at the fair is free with the price of admission. It's a way to spend time with your family.

There is something for everyone at the fair. For example, for small children, there is "Farmer for a Day" and greetings by Buster the Clown.

Older adults can reminisce about the past in seeing the hit-and-miss engines.

Visitors of all ages will be intrigued by the chain saw carving.

Speaking of a general attraction that many people enjoy, there is a spectacular fireworks display tonight at 10:15.

The list of reasons to visit go on and on.

The bottom line is, the Carbon County Fair is worth visiting.

It continues through Saturday and children under 10 are admitted free.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com [1].