Fri. Jan 27th, 2023

While the grandstand stage always draws the most attention at the Crawford County Fair, there will be a multitude of other acts, events and entertainment for fairgoers to enjoy.

Though not as large, the West End Stage will see its fair share of activities throughout the week, including two newcomers to the fair.

The Concert Band of Northwestern Pennsylvania is set to perform Wednesday at 7 p.m. as its county fair debut. Formed in 1982, the band brings together music enthusiasts from across the region to share their love of the art form.

Armond Walter, who became the band’s director after the founding director retired in June, said musicians are enthusiastic about the performance, even to the point they hope to come back.

“It’s an exciting new venue for us, and hopefully one we can continue to do each year,” he said.

Walter said the band is aiming to “keep it light” with its selection of songs for the concert, going for a more “summer-esque” feeling. Some of the music to be performed are selections from the musical “The Music Man” and the film “The Magnificent Seven.”

Known for being the band director at Meadville Area Senior High School, Walter said performing with the Concert Band is a very different feeling, even with several of his former students participating.

“The people are there because they want to be,” he said. “They’re excited to make music. They want to share their gift with the communities we serve.”

Another newcomer to the fair this year is the Canine Partners Program, an animal rescue that will be holding adoption and education events multiple times during fair week at the West End Stage.

Judy Troyer, the program’s founder, said the organization will have dogs, cats, kittens and puppies at its events, with kids even getting a chance to interact with the latter two. They will also be holding talks on pet training.

“We’re super-excited,” she said. “Excited and honored, honestly, to be the ones asked to represent the rescue world.”

While the Canine Partners Program has only been around since 2016, Troyer said she’s been involved in rescuing animals for 30 years. The program got its start training animals with behavioral issues to be sent to other programs for adoption, but has recently begun handling its own adoptions.

For anyone looking to adopt an animal, the program’s events at the fair will help make the process easier. Staff will be able to perform the interview process on the spot, helping get one of the important steps of adopting out of the way.

Troyer said the organization will also be bringing information on how people can help the program, as well as explanations on how Canine Partners operates.

Dean Maynard, president of the Crawford County Fair Board, said a reason why the board brought the program on to the fair was because many people had adopted pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, but have perhaps struggled with training their animals.

“And, of course, everyone likes to hold a dog or cat,” he added.

It isn’t just new features at the fair either. Once against the Zerbini Family Circus will be a recurring act throughout fair week, putting on free performances with jugglers, animals and clowns. The circus will pitch its tent on three times on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and on Aug. 27, and twice on Monday.

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