The Jacktown Fair
You can't die happy 'til you've been

July 18th through July 22nd

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PROGRAM OF EVENTS

10:00 AM – Worship Service
7:00 PM – Queen and Princess Competition, Princess Crowning

3:30 PM – House Decorating Contest
6:00 PM – Float Contests
6:30 PM – Parade
7:00 PM – Guest Dignitaries and Crowning of Miss Jacktown Fair
5:00-10:00 PM – Bingo
8:00 PM – Music by Dick Rutan
8:00 PM – The Hillbilly Way
9:30 PM – Fireworks
Stihl Pro Carvers

Rides start at 6:00 PM

9:00 AM – Home & Garden Department Judging

Youth Night – Free rides ages 14 and under sponsored by First Federal of Greene County
5:00-10:00 PM – Bingo
7:00 PM – ATV and UTV Dirt Drags
7:00 PM – Food Eating Contests
8:30 PM – DJ Brian Ward
Stihl Pro Carvers

Rides start at 6:00 PM

9:00 AM – Horse Judging
10:30 AM – Beef Cattle Judging
1:00 PM – Goat Judging
7:00 PM – Rabbit Judging

Senior Citizens’ Day
2:00-10:00 PM – Bingo
2:00 PM – Music by Ben Tharp
7:00 PM – Tractor and Truck Pull
8:00 PM – Music by Cash Through the Years
Stihl Pro Carvers

Rides start at 6:00 PM

8:00 AM – Sheep Judging
2:00 PM – Dairy Cattle Judging

9:30 AM – Livestock Judging Contest
11:00 AM – Tractor Driving Contest
5:00-10:00 PM – Bingo
7:00 PM – Power Pulling Productions Tractor and Truck Pull
7:00 PM – Rabbit and Goat Sale
8:00 PM – Music by Country Sounds with Sandy Huffman
9:00 PM – Fireworks
Stihl Pro Carvers

Rides start at 6:00 PM

5:00-10:00 PM – Bingo
3:00 PM – Motocross Practice
5:00 PM – Motocross
5:30 PM – Stihl Pro Carvers Sale
8:00 PM – Music by Cross Vision

Rides start at 4:00 PM

ENTRY FORMS

Parade Entry

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Barn Entry

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Home & Garden

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RULES AND INFO

Dirt Drags

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Truck & Tractor Pulls

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Power Pulling

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Motocross

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THE JACKTOWN FAIR 2017 FAIR BOOK

HISTORY OF THE JACKTOWN FAIR

The Legendary Jacktown Fair was organized on July 6, 1866.

The Richhill Agricultural, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Association (as it was called in the charter) formed July 6, 1866. There were 280 shares of stock sold to fund the fair. The first Jacksonville Fair (as it was initially named) occurred on October 3rd and 4th of that same year. The fair throughout much of the rest of the 1800s and early 1900s consisted of horse racing as the main event. And there were of course the contests that created the inevitable bragging rights of farmers, homemakers and craftsmen. Entries were taken in a large variety of categories – livestock, linen and clothing, cotton, leather, needlework, farm machinery, grains, produce, arts, furniture, flowers, bread, preserves, and even horse shoes.

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Attractions in the early years included an “international circus,” balloon ascensions, fireworks, trapeze and other aerial acts, tight rope walkers, and many different bands. The first mention of rides at the fair was reported in the True Blue newspaper in 1886, stating that two large swings “did a good business.” A noteworthy story of entertainment comes from 1893. Madame and Professor Zeno were performing a balloon ascension at the fair, in which the balloon caught on fire. Madame Zeno was able to escape just in time, as the balloon was caught by the wind and blown into the side of a house about 500 yards away.

Attendance has always been more than anyone would ever expect from such a rural area. In 1879, the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer reports that, “Colonel Bridges estimates the crowd at the Jacktown Fair at between 5,000 and 6,000 people.” People from Washington County and “Little Virginia” attended even the very first fairs.

Fortunately, tragedy has only really struck once at the Jacktown Fair. In 1894, a boy named Furman Joseph Miller, 13, of Bristoria died at the fair. After the horse races finished, several boys jumped on their horses to ride on the track for fun. Furman was thrown from his horse and trampled. He sustained a severe head injury and died the next day.

In the 1920s, advertisements promote a “night fair” at Jacktown, as it was one of the earliest in the area to feature lighting. In 1939, the gas lights were replaced with electric.

In 1931, the concrete road from Waynesburg to Jacktown was complete. This was great for travelers, but drastically hurt the three hotels (Bryan, Pettit, and Taylor) in Jacktown. During the fair, these hotels were bursting at the seams, often having the hire additional help for the week of the fair.

In 1932, the fair featured a wedding as the main event on Friday evening. Lawrence Ray Wood of Holbrook married Alverta McClelland of Wind Ridge in a wedding put on by Boyd and Worth of Pittsburgh. They sponsored the nuptials, paying for everything including advertisement, in exchange for a 50 percent cut of the gate proceeds. The two were happily married for the rest of their lives and relocated to California.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, many improvements were made to the fair under the influence of Frank Ross, a native of Wind Ridge who moved to Chicago to become the very successful owner of the Jewel Tea Company. He was a very generous man to the fair and the community. The president of the fair in the 1940s was Ross Burns, a relative of Mr. Ross, and their cooperation was vital to the development of the fair.

In 1943, it appears the fair was a small as it ever was with World War 2 at its peak. Although it seems there were no big attractions, premiums were paid for an amateur show and livestock.

Sadly, horse racing came to an end in 1946, and horse pulls became the new main event.

The 100th fair anniversary celebration in 1965 was the first five day affair and also the beginning of the tradition of the Jacktown Fair parade, along with having a fair queen.

“You can’t die happy ‘til you’ve been to the Jacktown Fair,” is first found in the Waynesburg Democrat Messenger on August 7, 1931 as “Visit Jacktown and die happy.” Though the wording has changed a few times throughout the years, current fair organizers say the adage holds true as much today as when it was first coined.

As always, the fair offers more than just rides and attractions. As stated in the Waynesburg Messenger, October 1, 1879, “If there was nothing on exhibition except the large crowd of people it would pay to spend thirty-five cents and a half day on the fair grounds. It is worth all it cost, and more too, merely as a grand reunion, and, day of recreation and social employment. We witnessed so much sociability and apparent true enjoyment, that we could not help thinking that such a day might be looked forward to as one of the most pleasant of the season, and that, if properly managed, it might be said of “fair day,” as of Christmas, “though it comes but once a year, it always brings good cheer.”

For more info on the history of the Jacktown Fair, contact Zack and Kayla Patton at 724-428-4636.

CONTACT US

We’d love to hear from you.

Send us a message and tell us about your experience
at the Jacktown Fair.
E-mail us any pictures you might want to share of your time with us.
We may post it on our site.

Jacktown Fairgrounds
P.O. Box 125
440 W Roy Furman Hwy
Wind Ridge, PA 15380

(724) 428-3637
jacktownfair@gmail.com

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FAIR BOARD

PRESIDENT – Walter A. Burns

1st VICE PRESIDENT – Dana A. Wilson

2nd VICE PRESIDENT – Harry E. Gardner, Jr.

SECRETARY & TREASURER – Jamie Dinsmore

1.FULL LIST OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
DIRECTORS
Harry E. Gardner, Jr.
Walter A. Burns
Dana A. Wilson
Jamie Dinsmore
C.J. Behm, Jr.
James Rizor
Alfred Burns
Randy Burns
Jamie Campbell
Nyle Burns
Dennis Householder
Murray Hoy
James Behm
Andrew Burns
Zack Patton

HONORARY DIRECTORS
Charles Morris
Archie Trader
Blair Zimmerman
Thomas Chess
Doug Grim
Richard King

CONCESSION, PRIVILEGES
AND EXHIBIT HALL
James Rizor – 724-447-2872
Alfred Burns – 724-428-4361
Greta Mooney – 724-428-3718

LIVESTOCK
Jamie Dinsmore – 724-437-5003
James Campbell – 724-852-1622
Dennis Householder – 724-499-5112

GATES AND PARKING
Randy A. Burns – 724-428-3617
Murray Hoy – 724-627-7803

SOUND SYSTEM
Randy A. Burns – 724-428-3617

FAIR HISTORY
Zack Patton
Kayla Patton

GRANDSTAND EVENTS
Alfred Burns – 724-428-4361
Dana A. Wilson – 724-222-1858
Nyle Burns – 724-428-3423
Andrew Burns – 724-428-3423
John Hart – 304-845-4974
Ryan Mooney – 724-428-3718

HOME & GARDEN
DEPARTMENT
Melody Burns – 724-428-3617

PARADE COMMITTEE
Marcia Sonneborn – 724-428-4344
Charles J Behm Jr.– 724-428-5198
Jim Behm– 304-845-2666

QUEEN COMMITTEE
Crystal Frye – 724-428-4505