BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — The Bloomsburg Fairgrounds are quiet right now, but soon there will be lots of activity. The 166th fair kicks off in just over two weeks. It's been a long time coming, as last year's fair was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"You don't realize how much you miss something until you don't have it for a year, and that's where we're at right now," said Randy Karschner, president of the Bloomsburg Fair.
Karschner says COVID-19 precautions will be in place at this year's event. The fair is encouraging social distancing and asking people to wear masks inside the buildings.
"Out in the open, I think we're OK. Some of this could change as we go on throughout the weeks with the governor and whatever comes down the pipeline, but right now, we're going to ask people to wear masks in the buildings. We're not going to mandate it."
Karschner says the fair will not limit attendance but recommends people buy tickets online to avoid long lines.
Fair directors tell Newswatch 16 that there is a shortage of entries in some of the exhibition buildings because of the pandemic. The fair is still looking for people to enter their prized projects in the agriculture and industrial arts categories.
Employees are also needed to work at the fair.
Some new attractions this year include a wildlife show and the opportunity to go fishing at the fair. It's called First Bite Fishing.
"It's catch and release for kids. It's no cost. They can go up and put barbless hooks, catch fish, and put them back," John Brokenshire explained.
During the offseason, a new portable stage and a racetrack were added.
"We're not going to have any races, but we'll have the tractor pulls on the new racetrack. We will have the demo derby on the new racetrack. The monster truck show will be the last Saturday night. That's drawing a lot of attention," Karschner said.
The Bloomsburg fair starts Friday, September 24, and runs through Saturday, October 2