New look Ephrata Fair opens here Tuesday Layout changes; one price ride wristbands will now be available each day for $20 Watch all the action on Review’s ‘Fair Cam’

By on September 19, 2012

By: ANDY FASNACHT Review Editor, Staff Writer

A crowded midway at last year's Ephrata Fair.

A tinker here and a tweak there but in the end, it’s still 94 years of tradition which will roll into town Monday night when the traffic lights go red in both directions at the square.

Ephrata’s “grandaddy” of local fairs indeed will open up Tuesday, Sept. 25 with all the farm animals, exhibits, rides, games, and, of course, the amazing food the community has come to expect after nearly a century of setting up in downtown.

This year, fairgoers will notice some slight changes to the look downtown, as several rides will be moved from the parking lot between the Ephrata Review and the former JCPenney building to the “extended midway” on South State Street. The familiar and ever-popular Ephrata Lions Club bingo tent will also see a small change of venue, moving behind the train station after years of being in front.

Children and adults alike will also notice a new ride vendor, Houghton Enterprises, Inc. providing thrills on the midway with ride all night pricing options. There are also a few other minor changes but all in all, the fair will be what families know and love about it.

“I’m very excited about the 2012 Ephrata Fair because of how hard the community worked to put this together,” said Ephrata Farmers Day Association President Matt Smith, referring to some of the changes. “The Fair relies on the Borough and individual property owners and businesses to grant us the necessary space to hold the Fair. This year we lost vital parts of the Fair’s footprint. We went to the Ephrata Borough and our borough council worked swiftly to help us find a solution. They granted us additional space on South State Street. In addition to the council, we would also like to thank our partners at the Ephrata Borough Police and Pioneer Fire Company for their help during this process. I think we all understand what the Ephrata Fair means to this community and we’re all committed to ensure the future of this time-honored tradition.”

Smith also reminded that the fair will continue its tradition of showcasing its agricultural heritage at Tent City. He also encouraged fairgoers to check out the various exhibit sites there and throughout the downtown area at borough hall, Pioneer Fire Company, the fair building and The Ephrata Review’s front display window. The huge Ephrata Fair Parade will be held on Wednesday as always, stepping off at 7 p.m. from the high school and winding its way through the area surrounding the midway. It will feature many new participants including one of the best string bands in the area as well as the Philadelphia Eagles Pep Band.

But Smith also, early on in his comments, acknowledged the centerpiece of it all.

“The pulse of the Ephrata Fair is at the midway where there’s great food, rides, and games for everyone,” he said.

And speaking of the rides, the EFDA president went into greater detail about the new deals that await the young and the young and the young at heart looking for some laughs and thrills.

“We have hired a new ride operator, Houghton Enterprises to provide us a more affordable option without losing the quality of rides that we’re accustomed to,” Smith said. “You will now be able to ride all night for one low price of $20 every night.”

He also said you can pre-purchase wristbands online before Sept. 24 for a $5 discount at

Also, don’t forget to look for:

üThe Fair will also feature Senior Day on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Kiddies Day, on Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., when all rides are reduced by one ticket.

üTent City will have farm animals and a petting zoo as well as fun and entertainment for the whole family from Tuesday through Friday. Be sure to also check out the great food at Tent City and agricultural and commercial exhibits. There will also be antique tractors. On Saturday Tent City will have Quoits and Cornhole Tournaments.

üThe Ephrata Fair Raffle will return again this year. Tickets will be available at multiple locations. Drawings will be Saturday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. in the Fair office.

üThe Bake Sale, which benefits the Ephrata Farmers Day Association, will be held outside the Fair office Tuesday morning after 9:30 a.m.

üBeams Music will be providing entertainment during the week at various locations on the Midway and Tent City.

Smith also pointed out a few of the other changes fairgoers will see next week.

“Because of the new footprint, the shuttle bus stop to and from Tent City will now be located on Arch and Main streets,” he said. “The baked good items will now be at the Fair office and the art work will now be located in the Pioneer Fire Hall.”

Additional information on the fair, including registration information, can be found at its website,

“As president of the Ephrata Farmers Day Association, I’m honored to work with such incredible board members and volunteers,” Smith said. “These dedicated people work all year round to ensure the quality of the ‘Largest Street Fair in Pennsylvania.’ We would also like to thank our sponsors and partners for their commitment to the Ephrata Fair.” Those who check out The Ephrata Review’s website ( on a regular basis, know that you can view action from the square in downtown Ephrata all year long.

But during the week of the grand Ephrata Fair, we like refer to the “Square Cam” as “Fair Cam.”

Beginning Monday night for set-up you can watch all the action, as the camera will even show the lights going red in both directions at the square, officially signaling the start of it all.

Then on Tuesday when the 94th Ephrata Fair actually opens at lunchtime, keep checking back to the “Fair Cam” to get a look at the crowds, current weather and maybe get a peek at some of those tempting treats which will help draw thousands here next week.

Remember, it’s all at! More FAIR, page A17

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