Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grange Fair

The Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment is the biggest event of the summer, if not the whole year for Centre County residents. In the first day I was at the fair I learned that grange tents are a popular topic in divorce custody battles, some claim bigger then kids, and that most take their vacation to spend the week at the fair.

The first day I went out to cover the fair was move-in day. I wasn't exactly sure what this meant when I left for the fair grounds but quickly learned that people build kitchens and porches onto their tents, and literally move in for the week. Futons, beds, tables, some even have tvs and ceiling fans. Soon after I got to the fair grounds they announced that a severe storm was coming through and for everyone to be in their cars or to go to buildings around grounds. I hide in a bathhouse with one other woman as it rained and rained, and hailed, and the winds blew. Once the storm finally passed I knew my photo would be the people still setting up with inches of water on the ground.

This woman and her daughter worked to tie a tarp over their families tent, so the rain wouldn't soak through.

When I headed back to the fair on it's officially opening day I did a big loop of the grounds to learn where some things were. The crowds started to come in as the dinner hour approached.

The first night of the fair is also the Annual Grange Fair Queen pageant. I learned a lot about the fair and how important it was to the contestants, and most of the fairs attendees, from the girls speeches.
When the new queen was announced she jumped up in excitement to hug the former queen, who happened to be her big sister.

Before the queen pageant I had walked by an RV with a bunch of folding chairs set up around a TV. I knew what that was for and headed back to that RV after the queen was announced to found a group of people watching the Keystone team in the Little League World Series. The owners of the RV joked they needed a bigger TV and mentioned their daughter attends school with some of the players.

The fair brings families, animals, and politicians. Governor Corbett visited on Friday afternoon and was given a tour of the new equine arena before heading to the republican stand on the midway. He must have joked at least 5 time that he wished he could find a team to build bridges as fast as the team that built this new arena.

This little girl and her family stopped to talk to the governor, but she was much more interested in showing off the fish she had just won than talking to a politician.

With families all brought together at the fair, any special occasion is celebrated at the families tent. Raynee enjoyed playing with the icing of her cake as she celebrated her first birthday outside of her great-grandmothers tent.

Animals are a huge part of the fair, with the 4H and FFA competitions and selling process, but most of those events take place earlier in the day so I wasn't able to cover them. I did loop through the animal barns one day though, and for some reason find goats to be very fun to photograph.

Throughout the week we featured a different tent everyday. Each tent has a unique story and family history built into it. In this families tent they used to sing country tunes in the grandstand when the two brothers were kids.

It was an interesting experience to cover the fair, some days I dreaded it, and some days I looked forward to it. The history and stories that go with the Centre County Grange fair are entertaining, and the people are so friendly that it makes my job a little easier. I know understand what all the hype is, and until next year, I'm Granged out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little League World Series 2

Headed back to South Williamsport for the Mid-Atlantic's second game in the Little League World Series. After loosing their first game the team had to win to stay alive in the tournament. I got to the stadium earlier then I thought I would, and stopped in the gift shop to possibly get a shirt, to wear on my days off, to support the team. Completely sold out of everything Mid-Atlantic. There were racks and racks of shirts for the other teams, but with the thousands supporting the Keystone team, everything was gone.

This game didn't bring as many ups and downs as the first nights game did, but the excitement in the stadium was still high.

Fans cheer after a strike out ended the top of the fifth inning.

Safe at home, making the score 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth.

The team celebrates their 2-0 win over New England and will move on in the tournament!

Little League World Series

A team that falls right on the edge of our coverage area has made it to the Little League World Series. I've never paid much attention to the LLWS, but I have been sucked in, along with the record breaking 45,000 other people that attended the first game the team played in in South Williamsport.

Lamade Stadium before the start of the game that broke the Little League World Series attendance record.

ESPN airs all the games, and needs fun things to show to lead to their commercial breaks, hence the team, even the coach, dancing with LLWS mascot, Dugout.

Great Lakes pitcher, said to be the best pitcher in the tournament.

Waiting for the ruling if his double was a foul or fair ball.

After being ruled foul, and batting again, Miller safely slides into second.

The team unfortunately lost their first game in the tournament, 1-0, but still have a chance at the National title.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Lately my days have been filled with baseball, baseball, and more baseball. I'm actually waiting to head out to cover a baseball game that was rain delayed from earlier in the day. With the State College Spike's having a long home stand and the county league in their playoff tournament it's a good thing I like the game of baseball. The hard thing this is finding a different or new shot. I stand there and wait for some action, anticipating which way the ball will fly when it's hit depending on if it's a left or right handed batter, hoping the base runner attempts to steal or there is a double play, prepping for the play at the plate. I even hope the light hits something a little different, or that a pitcher has a unique twist to how they throw the ball.

Here are some highlights from the week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rainy Weekend

I apologize, I have been enjoying the summer time weather and being outside and haven't updated in a while.

Over the weekend it was a different story with rain and rumbles of thunder. Weather doesn't stop my job, and it didn't affect anyone's spirit in the assignments I had to cover either.

The first assignment I had was a boot camp for kids at the Pennsylvania Military Museum. I was surprised there was no rain date for the event, but as I was told, real military boot camp doesn't stop for any weather reasons, so neither would they. The kids who ranged from age 8-13, were split into platoons and went through several training exercises.

Recruits in platoon 2 work on a tactical self defense line with replica rifles in the trees.

Recruits in platoon 3 crawl through the confidence course as the rain picks up.

Covered in mud from the confidence course, recruits in platoon 3 learn how to properly salute.

After I was drenched from boot camp I moved on to the Centre County Farm Tour. At Young American Growers at Two Barn Farm visitors could feed the bore goats.

I moved on to Beiler Family Farm as the rain picked up again and most of the animals scattered for the pastures or for cover. This black sheep posed for me and was in no hurry to go anywhere, unlike the hens who headed for the hen house.

I jumped in on a tour that the owner of the farm's daughter was giving to a group. As she explained how they process their chickens one of the visitors reacts to learning how the chicken plucker works.

The work mules were very friendly and more uplifting to learn about.

Delicious looking fresh picked carrots.

I dried out from Saturday and was looking forward to a clear Sunday. Right as I arrived at Greenwood Furnace State Park the rain clouds arrived again but didn't stop the civil war reenactors as they kicked off Old Heritage Days.

Firing the 3 inch rifled ordnance.

A reenactor makes a face after trying someone else's recipe of hardtack, a flour, water and salt snack that the soldiers commonly carried with them.

The sun has come back out again, and hopefully will bring some bright filled assignments this week.