A beer, wine and spirits garden will be held in the main hall of this year’s Washington County Agricultural Fair. This inaugural experience will invite fair goers to sample local wineries, breweries and distilleries from the county, as well as offer live music, various other local vendors and more during the August event.
Wayne Hunnell, the secretary of the fair board, is excited to see how the new festival will play out. He and the fair board are focusing on spotlighting local vendors and local agriculture that make Washington County what it is.
“This is the first year for us actually doing it this way,” Hunnell said. “We are trying to get some of the local businesses that do beer, spirits, and wine to come in.”
Events centered around beers, wines, and spirits are not new to the fair. In the past, the fair has hosted contests in which judges tasted wines that were entered and chose the best ones. Hunnell says that the contest will still have a role in the festival, but they also plan to expand it.
“In our main hall, we are going to set up different wines, spirits, and beers where they would be passing out samples and selling,” he said.
Visitors will be able to purchase products from the wineries, breweries and distilleries to take home and enjoy.
Hunnell and the fair board members are really focusing on a different marketing approach for the festival with a heavy emphasis on Washington County’s agricultural background and history, like the Whiskey Rebellion, which started in 1794, and the creation of the Washington County Agricultural Fair, which is the oldest in Pennsylvania history.. He said they want to tie in that history and the Whiskey Rebellion Festival, which happened July 8-10, with local products reminding visitors of Washington County’s roots.
Another reason for the festival to take on this new form is due to a change of date of the annual Corks and Keg event, so the two events will not compete this year.
“That [event] has now been moved out, so it gives us the opportunity now to bring that type of event and make it a part of the fair and tie that agricultural part back into it as well,” said Hunnell.
He said this festival is an opportunity to diversify the main hall location, so it is not just informational booths that will occupy the space. It will also drive more people to the hall and increase foot traffic to those informational booths.
With about 160 acres and eight days long, the fair itself is sure to be a fun experience for the whole family with a mix of agricultural events, carnival rides, daily entertainment events, music, and food.
It is the oldest fair in Pennsylvania and the only one in the state where visitors can get to the fairgrounds by trolley. The fair board has partnered with the Trolley Museum to provide space for parking for the fair, and visitors can purchase a ticket to ride the two-mile journey on the trolley to and from the fairgrounds.
“We are the oldest fair in the state,” said Hunnell. “So getting it out there that Washington County, with our roots in agriculture, is what has driven that to be the oldest fair. And to continue to try and educate the younger generations about agriculture and what made the county what it is. I see the fair as a major portion of that.”
The fair runs for eight days from August 13-20, with the beer, wine and spirits garden operating Saturday, Aug. 13, Sunday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 19 from 5-9 p.m. For more information about the fair and a list of events, please visit washingtonfair.org.
PARTICIPATING WINERIES, BREWERIES & DISTILLERIES:
- J&D Cellars
- Red Pump Spirits
- Country Hammer Moonshine
- Stoney’s Brewing Company
and more to come.
Sponsored content brought to you by Washington County Agricultural Fair.