Ever since I was little I remember attending local fairs and festivals throughout the summer and fall with my parents. I kept up the tradition in college and still try to attend any nearby whenever possible. Hands down though, the Bloomsburg Fair is one of the absolute best. It has everything you want – food, games, rides, animals, food, exhibitions, food!!! Last weekend my parents and I were able to go together for the first time in five years and we had a blast.
For those who live within driving distance (or who want to make a special trip!), here are some of the basic facts about the fair. It celebrated it’s 162nd anniversary in 2017. The Bloomsburg Fair usually runs from Saturday to Saturday starting on the last weekend in September. It currently costs $8 to enter but you can buy tickets online ahead of time for $7. I bought one for myself online and completely forgot to get them for my parents – don’t make that mistake 🙂
Throughout the week you’ll find various events taking place, including animal and exhibition judging, free performances, and a headliner concert/event each evening. This year featured Alabama, Chicago, and Dustin Lynch. Although we didn’t attend the Alabama concert, we certainly enjoyed eating all the food, browsing through the exhibition halls, and playing a few games. Here’s a recap of our night:
Along the one side of the fairgrounds are a few massive buildings chock full of submissions from local students and adults. We spent part of our evening browsing the winning displays of baked goods, vegetables, woodworking, paintings, needlework, pictures, and more. It’s adorable seeing the kid’s science fair and craft projects. Plus, there are some truly impressive craftsmen in the woodworking, drawing, and needlework sections. On a chilly Saturday, it was also quite nice being inside the warmer buildings for a time : )
Since this is a bookish blog, the floral arrangement theme for 2017 was certainly appropriate: Hooked on Books. All of the entries were created using a book as inspiration. Lots of Mary Poppins, Little House on the Prairie, and cookbooks! It was also funny reading the comments left by the judges for all to see. Apparently there are very specific rules that apply to floral arrangements, which not everyone followed…
Although all the typical expensive, hard to win carnival games are available to play, we stick to our tried and true favorites: the candy game and I Got It. The candy game is pretttty complicated: put a quarter on a number – if the wheel lands on your number – you win!! I love that it’s only cost $.25 to play for as long as I can remember. There’s also a massive selection of candy from which to choose. Sadly this is the first year in as long as we can remember that none of us won.
I Got It is basically bingo – but you throw bouncy balls into a cage (much more fun). At $1 / game, it’s much costlier but the selection of prizes is pretty significant. First person to get bingo wins! My mom and I only played one game this year but neither of us won. Thus, we drowned our sorrows in food!
It’s hard to even describe the amount of food choices available at the Bloomsburg Fair. To give you an idea, we spent three hours walking around and didn’t even see all the options. I particularly like the variety available – there’s more than just the typical fried carnival food trucks. While you can still get all the funnel cake, French fries, fried Oreos (and every other fried food imaginable), there’s also dinner platters with meat and veggies, homemade BBQ, fresh apple dumplings, and so much more.
A Polish sampler platter caught my eye for dinner. $7 for a pierogi, haluski, potato pancake, and stuffed cabbage! All delicious. My parents split a beef and cheddar grilled cheese that also looked incredible.
For dessert I introduced them to the best and largest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever tasted (and they’re not Mr. Stickies! – so don’t get the wrong ones). At $5 each, you get a warm (!) cinnamon bun that’s literally the size of a takeout container and covered with either vanilla or cream cheese icing. Plus, when you realize there’s no way to finish it all that night, it’s just as scrumptious heated up the next day. I also couldn’t pass up a chocolate chip whoopie pie from an Amish baked goods stand.
That wraps up another amazing year at the Bloomsburg Fair!! Can’t wait until next time!
Do you have any local fairs or festivals that you visit every year?