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Committee prepares for West End Fall Festival

The fairgrounds in Gilbert will be decorated with scarecrows, pumpkins, a hay bale maze and cornstalks for its inaugural West End Fall Festival on Sept. 25-27.

“It will be a nice three-day event to have a good old-fashioned time with music, food and fall activities,” said Dale “Peanut” Greenzweig Jr., president of the West End Fair Association.

The festival will be held 4-9 p.m. on Friday and 2-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 per person over age 12. Those 12 and younger are free.

“The kids can go through a hay maze, paint pumpkins, pick pumpkins, go on a pony ride or a horse-drawn wagon ride and much more,” said Pam Borger, Fall Fest committee member.

Event planners are encouraging kids or families to dress up in their Halloween costumes to get in the spirit of fall.

The health and well-being of everyone was taken into consideration as the committee plans the event.

“I am looking forward to the community being able to safely get out with their families and enjoy good music and lots of family activities throughout our spacious grounds while following CDC guidelines by wearing their masks and social distancing,” Borger said.

Greenzweig said there will be temperature checks at the ticket booth, and everyone must wear a mask when entering.

“Once inside, we have lots of space to spread out. There will be picnic tables throughout to sit at,” Greenzweig said.

At the July 3 Celebration Fest, vendors set up tables in front of the gate to sell their food and merchandise. Only the band stage was behind the gate. There was an area to spread out to listen to the music and then watch fireworks.

For Fall Fest, the gate will be open, and all activities will take place throughout the fairgrounds.

Borger, president of the Western Pocono Women’s Club, is excited to be “selling our strawberry shortcakes out of our stand. We will be cleaning out our stand this Sunday.”

There will be an array of other familiar fair foods: Hoffman’s pulled pork and beef sandwiches, French fries, pierogies, fried vegetables, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, elephant ears, ice cream, soda and water.

Two wineries will also take part and sell cups of wine. They are among the more than 30 vendors and crafters that have been confirmed. Anyone who wants to be a vendor can email Hills@ptd.net.

A different local band will play each day.

SteelCreek Band will perform Friday from 6-9 p.m.

The Large Flowerheads will play Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m.

“The Large Flowerheads play music from the ’60s and ’70s and they are a local band. They played at our fair and Palmerton’s festivals. They are a crowd pleaser to my generation and my mom’s,” Borger said.

The Cramer Brothers Band will perform Sunday from 3-6:30 p.m.

The West End Fair Dirt-A-Rama will be held Saturday in the arena starting at 3 p.m. Hosted by Snydersville Raceway, it will feature Slingshots, Go Karts, Stage 1 Modified and Outlaw Karts. Admission is $6.

There will be a junk car race starting at 3 p.m. Sunday in the arena. It is car racing combined with demolition derby tactics. Admission is $8.

Weather permitting, there will be a lantern release at dusk Friday evening. These are the same kind of lanterns that were released during their Winter Fest in February.

Other activities include tractor-drawn wagon rides, old-time farm equipment displays, classic car parade, kids’ pedal pull and games for kids.

Guests can also take a stroll down to the Hay and Grain Building to see Julie Kresge’s winning 2019 wooden quilt block. It was revealed during a ceremony in mid-August.

The theme was Fairs Feature Agriculture. Her design included cows, sunflowers, corn and blue ribbons.

Patricia Mackes, chairwoman of the wooden quilt block committee, wants everyone to have a chance to see Kresge’s design.

“This is a lost art, just like cloth quilting. It takes a lot of time and ingenuity,” Mackes said during the ceremony.

There was no contest in 2020, due to the pandemic and canceled fair.

“We hope to give the community something fun to do during our Fall Fest weekend,” Greenzweig said. “We are hoping to raise money for the fairgrounds and the nonprofits.”

For more information: https://www.thewestendfair.com/p/about/fall-festival-2020.

Guests of the inaugural West End Fall Fest next weekend can see Julie Kresge's 2019 winning wooden quilt block, right. It hangs next to Darlene Beers' 2018 winning wooden quilt block on the side of the Hay and Grain Building. There was no contest in 2020 due to the pandemic and canceled fair. STACI L. GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS