The Grange Fair: An American Tradition captures a vanishing piece of Americana – one of the last remaining agricultural encampment Grange fairs in the country.
LENGTH: 86 Minutes
CATALOG #: 20409
UPC #: 6-4603204099-9
ISBN #: 1-56839-359-8
RELEASE YEAR: 2010
PRODUCER: The Pennsylvania State University
TECHNICAL NOTES: 16 x 9 Anamorphic Widescreen, �Stereo�, Color, English Subtitles
For much of the last century, Grange fairs were an important part of rural life, an opportunity for isolated farm families to gather to exchange information, showcase livestock and socialize. In addition to possessing some of the trappings of a conventional county fair — agricultural vendors, livestock and produce competitions, food, rides and live performances — the Centre County Grange Fair in Pennsylvania, featured in the Emmy award-winning film, operates likes a small city. It boasts almost a thousand highly coveted residential tents and a fleet of 1,300 recreational vehicles housing thousands of families. Thousands more attend to join family reunions, enjoy the midway and watch competitions.
For many participants, the fair and its competitions mark the culmination of months of work raising animals, growing produce, cooking and baking. Produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting and airing nationwide on public television, The Grange Fair – An American Tradition reveals the drama of those final nail-biting moments in which a year of work goes before the judges along with the personal triumphs and disappointments of those who participate in this unique American phenomena.
1. DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant ( Latrobe, Westmoreland Country)
2. The Frame Station & Gallery ( Berwyn, Chester County)
3. The Public Library (California, Washington County)
4. Shoeyville (Shoemakersville, Berks County)
5. Chestnut Ridge Station (Palmerton, Carbon County)
6. East Mahanoy Junction (Barnesville, Schuylkill County)
7. The Station Restaurant (Tarrentum, Allegheny County)
8. Union Street Station ( Pottsville, Schuylkill County)
9. Youghiogheny Glass (Connellsville, Fayette County)
10. Stoneboro Station (Clarks Mills, Mercer County)
11. Historical Museum (Beaver, Beaver County)
12. Seiple Station (Sunbury, Northumberland County)
13. Woodring Station (Sunbury, Northumberland County)
14. Columbia Station (Phoenixville, Chester County)
15. Tourist & Promotion Agency (Washington, Washington County)
16. The Pennsylvanian Apartments (Pittsburgh, Allegheny County)
Download the sell-sheet here.
“Joe Myers’ documentary focuses on an agricultural exhibition that began in Centre, PA, in 1874 and continues to lure thousands of people who temporarily transform the rural landscape into a miniature city for the annual festival. Says Dairy Princess Ashley Bird, “People just think it’s a regular fair, but as we all know, it’s not,” a sentiment expressed by everyone from child chicken farmers to nonagenarian needle-workers. Among those who look forward to the event all year long are 4-H Club member C.J. Zimmerman and baker Ruth Wolf, the latter attending since 1916, the year of her birth (Ruth’s specialty is black walnut cookies). Myers follows some of the featured subjects for several months as they prepare for the big event—growing crops, raising animals, canning, and doing handiwork. The fair’s enticements include competitions, dances, tractor pulls, food, rides, agricultural vendors, and live performances, with most of the visitors and participants coming from small towns in the area (although Wolf travels from Reston, VA). Most of the arriving campers bring cars and trucks bursting with full-size furnishings to make their temporary living quarters as homey as possible (a tent-decorating contest may also be a motivating factor). A poignant and affectionate documentary capturing a fading piece of Americana—the encampment fair—The Grange Fair also nicely pays tribute to another endangered species: the small farmer. Recommended”- Video Librarian