Unionville Fair off to great start

Rain moves aside for breezy, sunny afternoon as 86th annual fair opens

By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com

After a rainy morning, skies turned bright and sunny for the opening day of the Unionville Fair.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Chaos was everywhere around — even Chester County was in a declared state of emergency because of torrential rain and flooding. But looking out over the 2010 Unionville Fair, you’d never know that it was anything other than a perfect fall afternoon.

With Unionville schools closed for the day — by mid-afternoon flooding was still closing some local roads, kids and their parents flocked to the fair, roaming the exhibits, or petting a llama or just enjoying the various food vendors and live music on display.

Jayne Shea, president of the fair’s board of directors was the picture of calm, Friday afternoon, although she and her hardy team of volunteers had been forced to juggle

Vintage tractors on display at the fair.

quite a bit to make everything seem as smooth and seamless as it appeared. Some volunteers couldn’t make it to Unionville, blocked off by the flood waters, others showed up because they couldn’t reach work in places like West Chester. Shea and her people managed to keep things moving with barely a hiccup.

Even Thursday night’s benefit dinner — Denim and Diamonds turned out to be a smashing success, when hours earlier, organizers were a little worried about how to put the event on, with the wind howling and driving rain falling. The original plan to host it in a tent seemed dubious at best.

Kids get up close and personal with dairy cows at the fair.

Then came the brilliant suggestion: move it to the red barn, where the content entries are displayed. It took no small amount of improvising — and Shea was effusing how much work and how well her team of volunteers did to pull things off — but the dinner turned into a smash.

It worked so well that future dinners may be held there instead. Shea said the atmosphere with all of the community entries surrounding the tables seemed to really set the mood for the dinner/auction attendees and it was a warm reminder of why so many people put in so much time to make the fair — and the dinner — such a success.

Hundreds of contest entries await judging at the fair Friday.

The fair continues Saturday and Sunday with more live music, tons of food and attractions, including contests. The weather forecast for the weekend is clear and sunny, so big crowds are expected.

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