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Monday, September 17, 2012

York Fair wraps up
Fair president says this year's fair recorded strong attendance figures.
 
Bruce Bryant, right, of York Haven, sits with his great-grandson Kristofer Miller, while the duo take a break at the York Fair.
 YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN
By TERESA MCMINN
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated:   09/16/2012
York, PA -
Gene Schenck stood on a platform raised 4 feet above the ground and scanned the crowd below.
"Just listen to their voices. They're having a good time," said Schenck, president of the York Fair.
He viewed the fair from atop one of two new towers added this year to aid police watching the crowds. The stands are covered with a popup sunshield and decorated on all sides with banners to promote the fair.
"We don't know of any other fairs or festivals that have constructed (towers) that look like these," Schenck said.
"It puts them in a really good position," he said of the police officers. A third tower will be built for next year's fair and all towers will likely be doubled in height, Schenck said.
Folks flocked to several attractions this year, including a livestock birthing center, draft horse competitions and an exotic animal display.
"We haven't had that kind of enthusiasm before," he said. "It's been more fun this year."
Overall, there were fewer complaints at the fair this year, Schenck said.
But you can't please everybody all of the time, he added. Some complained about various issues, such as the wait time to get on a ride.
One woman complained that a Ferris wheel rule was unfair because it required riders to be married.
Puzzled by the grievance, Schenck walked to the ride and found a sign that read "No single riders."
"She was serious," he said. "And she was a little bit steamed."
Onto the next
While the final day of the fair was bursting with activity, tear-down and clean-up plans were underway and will move faster than usual.
The York Expo Center must be ready to facilitate the White Rose Thunder -- a motorcycle event that coincides with York City Bike Night, Jefferson Hill Climbs and the Harley-Davidson open house -- in about a week.
"White Rose Thunder will use every inch of the fairgrounds," Schenck
said, adding the transition from one huge event to another is stressful on the buildings and grounds crew.
Ron Lighty, facilities superintendent for the expo center, said timeframe for the motorcycle show will require his team, which includes nine full-time, 14 part-time and about 30 seasonal workers, to work fast.
"Typically we have two weeks to get this done. This year we have one," he said. Soon after the bike show, more events, including the Senior Expo, will follow, he said. "September and October are always tight because we have a lot of large events."
Lighty said he's confident his workers are up to the challenging tasks.
"For a small staff, they work together very well, like a team or a family," he said.

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