Thousands come out to Mason-Dixon Fair

From the pig-themed re-entry stamps to the free petting zoo and antique tractor pulls, this year's Mason-Dixon Fair kept to its country core.

Thousands gathered Wednesday night for the fair's third night, which featured antique tractor pulls and the second night of Karaoke Idol. The 13th annual Mason-Dixon Fair runs through this Saturday evening, July 16, and features activities and exhibits for everyone in the family.

Wednesday evening included a special memorial to the late Douglas Farrington, who died of a heart attack last August. Mr. Farrington was not only the Delta-Cardiff Fire Company president, but was also highly involved with the Mason-Dixon Fair, even when it was the small Delta Carnival.

Several politicians were there to honor Mr. Farrington with the 2010 Mason-Dixon Fair Person of the Year, which was presented to his wife, Stacey, and their children. Current Fair President Jeff Griffith spoke as well, asking fairgoers to remember Mr. Farrington.

"Without him, we wouldn't be where we are today," he said.

Mr. Farrington, Pennsylvania State Rep. Stan Saylor said, was the one who pushed for the small carnival to become a state recognized fair.

The fair certainly has grown throughout the years and several attendees noticed, including the Grafton family of Delta, Pa. Louis Grafton has been coming since it was the Delta Carnival, he said, and now attends with his wife, Candie, and son, Alex.

It's grown even in the past few years, they said, but what Louis Grafton likes the most is bringing Alex out.

"Just bringing him out here so he can enjoy it like I did when I was a kid," he said.

Louis Grafton and Alex had just stepped off the helicopter ride, too, with Alex, 7, shouting excitedly, "We got to see our house!"

The rides, which ranged from small kid-size coasters to the Ferris wheel, were also a big hit at the fair, much to the happiness of several parents with children in tow. Deborah and Rick Youngworth, of Bel Air, came with their three daughters, Abigail, 6, Madelyn, 5, and Isabelle, 1.

The kids rides were Rick Youngworth's favorite, he said, because they keep their daughters occupied. Deborah Youngworth also commented that the fair was "nice" and "not overcrowded."

Abigail, too, had her own favorite part.

"I liked the cars because they made that honking sound," she said.

It was the Youngworth family's first year visiting, much like many other families and couples Wednesday night. Dawn Lupica, of Fallston, came with her two sons and friends Christine and Rob Carter, of Jarrettsville.

Although Christine and Rob Carter had been before, this was Lupica's first year.

"It's very nice," she said. "It feels very country and down home."

Lupica came along with her two sons, Gus, 7, and Vincent, 4, joining the Carter's children, Jack, 4, and Grace, 2.

This was the Carter's second year coming and they came back for their children, Christine Carter said, adding that her favorite part was "just watching how much fun the kids have."

Another family, too, had been coming for a couple of years. Dawn and Jeff Steinhoff of Felton, Pa., brought along their 13-year-old daughter, Sam, and her friend to "keep them busy," Jeff Steinhoff said.

So far, Dawn Steinhoff said, the karaoke contests were "pretty great," but her favorite part was the craft vendors that set up. Unfortunately, she added, "they've seemed to dwindle away."

Sam's favorite, however, is still going strong.

"I like the bumper cars," she said.

While many families had come for their first or second year, members of Calvary Chapel, of Delta, have been coming since the fair began 13 years ago, holding a very integral role.

Sporting fluorescent yellow shirts with "Clean 'N Up 4 Jesus" on the back, members of all ages patrolled the fairgrounds with trash grabbers, cleaning up after the thousands of visitors.

Marty Watkins, a church elder, was in charge of the outreach program this year, which also included a tent set up with face painting and crafts for kids, as well as a prayer corner for anyone who needed it.

Along with trash pick-up, this is all how the church gives back to the community, Watkins said.

"In the process we get to share the gospel of Jesus Christ," he added.

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