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President shares lifelong county fair experiences

By Carol Sones Shelter - | Jul 20, 2021

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Members on the committee charged with planning the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Lycoming County Fair include (front left-right): Hannah James, Susan McConnell, Amanda Emig, Megan Wheeland, Amber Earnest. (Back row left-right): Committee chair Michael Bieber, Steve Neff, Eddie Stockert, Beth Earnest. Absent from photo were Mary Lou Breneisen, Nancy DeWire, Dale Levan, Sue Murray, Jack Smith and Janet Yerg.

HUGHESVILLE – As the 150th year of the Lycoming County Fair comes to a close on Saturday, July 24, The Luminary spoke with the person at the helm, President Rocky Reed. The president shared his experiences from the time he was a child forward to the present.

“As a child, I came with my father Jim and grandfather LaRue Reed who showed cattle. Both were farmers before my father changed occupations. When I’d grown old enough to mow lawns, I did that all summer to earn money to go to the fair which I spent in three days,” Reed said.

The timeline advanced to 1994 when Reed said, “I worked the grandstand with Steve Hess, supervisor of ticket sales, then was given charge of security.”

About seven years ago, Reed joined the fair board and is serving his third year as president. “It’s an honor to serve as president any time, a special honor of course this year during the 150-year celebration. When I look back at those who preceded me, it’s humbling,” he said.

Reed is grateful for the 150-year celebration committee and chairman Mike Bieber. “They took it over and have done a great job in finding funding, preparing displays and enlisting speakers,” Reed said.

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Officers working during the 150th Lycoming County Fair are (left-right) Karen Yaw, secretary; Rocky Reed, president; and Clifford Yaw, treasurer.

Referring to the determining processes going into the workings of the fair, he said, “The fair board makes the decisions, however there are times when things are time sensitive and need resolved instantly. Even before this year’s event is over, we’re planning for the next. This is one reason why continuity in the presidency and other offices is important, the third year in a position is always better than the first. When anyone advances, their spot requires filling, and so on, and so on.”

The president gave kudos to secretary, Karen Yaw of whom he said, “Karen takes the load off me, what she does I don’t need to, working at the fair for 48 years, she’s very good at what she does,” he said.

As for what pleases attendees, Reed said, “People want to see what they’ve always seen along with something new and exciting.”


Officers: Rocky Reed, president; Karen Yaw, secretary and Clifford Yaw, treasurer. Board members include: Richard Heydenreich, Richard Gardner, Shawn McCoy, Michael Bieber, Robert Hager, Thomas Hess and Bruce Koppenhaver.