It is a summer tradition in the Midstate when the smell of home-cooked food and the sound of laughter fill the air as guest ride rides and play games during community fairs.
In Penn Township, fair time is all about food and tradition. The Penn Township Fireman’s Fair runs Thursday through Saturday with food beginning to be served at 5 p.m. and games opening at 6 p.m. each night.
“People can come and eat and talk and eat some more and talk and maybe have ice cream,” Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department President John Wardle said. “We try to provide an atmosphere where there is something for everyone to do, whether it’s the games or the kiddie land ... just a lot of things we feel people enjoy doing.”
Wardle said the fair is the largest fundraiser the fire department hosts each year and allows it to continue serving the community.
“Our job as a volunteer is to serve our community and we just need everyone’s help to be able to do that,” he said.
Wardle said an “army of people” are currently working to get the fair ready and each day fresh foods, including homemade chicken corn soup, ice cream, sausages and sandwiches, are prepared for hungry patrons.
Some highlights for the fair include a fireworks display that begins around 10 p.m. Saturday and an ice cream eating contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Wardle said he is still seeking volunteers to try their hand, mouth and stomach to try to eat “five healthy scoops” of ice cream as part of the contest.
“The president isn’t running this year so we couldn’t get him,” Wardle joked. “But, we’re looking for some volunteers who would like to try to eat the ice cream.”
Admission to the fair is free and Wardle said the fire company is asking patrons to not bring pets.
“We have a family carnival atmosphere,” Wardle said. “It’s going to warm, but we’re looking forward to a really great crowd.”