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Loudoun County Fair (VA) Wraps Up
Snyder Amusements on the Midway
By Lisa and Robert Limerick
The Loudoun County Fair recently finished up it,s 2010 run, July 26th - 31st. Loudoun County is located in Northern Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC. The fair celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. One hundred percent of the profits from the event go to maintaining the fair,s property and buildings, and to give scholarships and awards to local 4-H students. The fair is a non-profit organization and is run by an all-volunteer staff.
One of the fair,s biggest fundraising events of the year is the very popular Kiss A Pig contest. Doctors and lawyers, along with other prominent community leaders, hold creative fundraising drives during a specified period of time. On the final night of the fair, everyone gathers and the person with the most donations gets a chance to pucker up to a pig and lay a big smooch right on its lips. This event has been a 12-year tradition of the fair and brings a lot of community spirit to the event. Jan Helms of Fairfax stated while watching the event "In my opinion seeing a lawyer kiss a pig would be worth giving a couple of dollars to a worthy cause -- especially a divorce lawyer".
This year,s fair had lots of activities for guests to enjoy including several new events. There was an inaugural karaoke contest sponsored by Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc.. Patsy Cline lived in Virginia through much of her life and was one of the first artists to crossover between country and pop music with her sultry voice and sophisticated sound. Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc. tries to keep Patsy,s music alive and well forfuture generations by holding events such as this contest.
Also new this year is the Timberworks Lumberjack Show. The Lumberjacks competing in the show have been featured on ABC,s Wide World of Sports, ESPN,s Jeep Trails Series and also on the Outdoor Life Network. This show demonstrates a wide variety of lumberjack skills including axe throwing, chopping, cross cutting, and hot saw. The last event was the most popular which put two lumberjacks racing each other spinning on a log in a pool of water to see who could be the last one standing. Not only does this show provide exciting entertainment for the whole family but it also contains sports, comedy, and history of log competitions dating back to the early 1900,s.
Popular events returning to the fair this year included the Ives Brothers Extreme Motorcycle Show and Masters of Chainsaws Sculptors. The Ives Brothers are included in the Guinness Book of World Records for precision skilled stunts and tricks. Crowds were on the edge of their seats and biting their nails when the brothers brought out their Globe of Death. They hopped on their specially made bikes and rode around in this globe making laps and doing stunts inside.
Some fairgoers were surprised to find themselves standing along an empty street waiting for Outhouses to come rolling past them. That is just what they got at the 2nd Annual Great Outhouse race. Competitors built homemade outhouses to race down a local street for prizes. Most of the entrants didn,t care about the prizes just the delight and respect of their local community and families.
The Masters of the Chainsaws show was another popular event with guests. Some of the nations top professional chainsaw sculptors were on hand doing demonstrations. Cutters would start with three foot logs and in a matter of minutes would turn the wood into a beautiful piece of artwork. Creations included animals and sports teams. Fairgoer Scott Jackson of Loudoun was amazed while watching the performance exclaiming, "wow they are making this beautiful artwork while I can barely cut a small Christmas tree down with my chainsaw".
If fairgoers hadn,t had their fill of excitement by this point there also was a Demolition Derby and a Rodeo that included barrel racing. The derby was filled with a bunch of junkyard rejects and road rage filled drivers. Since Loudoun County is located in Northern Virginia and Interstate 95 is nearby a lot of the competitors had lots of practice for the event. The rodeo brought guests up close and personal with wild bulls, bucking horses and rodeo clowns the final night of the fair.
Snyder Amusements of Pennsylvania provided the midway for the Loudoun County Fair and brought a full assortment of rides, games and food units. Snyder is in its 67th season and management is now in its third generation. Donald and Tammy Snyder own and operate Snyder Amusements and are booked from April to October. They provide midways to fairs, festivals, and carnivals in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Snyder,s have a inventory of over thirty rides including the original Carousel that the company brought in 1960. It has been remodeled and upgraded over the years but is still in use and gathers a lot of attention at any event where it is presented. Some of the other rides that Snyder Amusements owns are the Cliff Hanger, Round Up, Gravitron, Quasar, Hurricane, Super Scrambler, Astro Wheel, Scooters, Sizzler and a Slide. Kiddie rides include a wide variety of Hamptons, including the planes, cycles, and dune buggies, a Bear Affair, Dinosaurs, Barneys Bombers, Firehouse Funhouse, a Castle themed moon bounce, the Swinger, the Lady Bugs, Speedway, trains, and a Dragon Wagon.
Snyder,s food units include an Ice Cream, Tammy,s Funnel Cakes, a popper Wagon, a Sausage and Corndog trailer and several other food trailers that were making delicious treats for guest of all ages to enjoy.
Complying with state law, each food stand is required to have a state certified food handler on the lot at all times.
Snyder Amusements also provide several game trailers and stright sales. Some of their games include the Lucky Ducky, the Goldfish Game, a Balloon Pop and Water Gun Fun along with other games of skill.
A traditional, civic-minded fair and a reputable midway have helped to keep the Loudon County Fair and Snyder,s Amusements going for well over 50 years. With relationships like this, both groups will probably succeed another 50 plus years.