A fair of the heart

June 27th, 2015 1:51 am

First Posted: 6/20/2013

Nationally recognized Elvis tribute artist Shawn Klush rocked the crowd at the Northeast Fair on Thursday. Klush a Pittston native, is considered the “closest thing to the king” and On Jan 6 just two days before Elvis’ 70th Birthday, Klush became grand champion at the $25,000.00 “World Elvis Tribute Artist Competition.” Klush is guaranteed to bring the fair to an exciting close today Sunday, June 23 at 6pm. VIP seats are available at wwww.northeastfair.com. Other entertainment included The Cast of Beatlemania, the Greatful Dead tribute band Jam Stampede, and the George Wesley Band which has performed for over four decades.

The Northeast Fair a state agricultural event, began in 1966 and is considered one of the top agricultural events in Pennsylvania. The five day fair is organized by President Joe Alicene and the Pittston Township Fire Department.

Alicene said the fair is a group effort and wouldn’t be what it is today without the community coming together.

“We have a vast amount of volunteers who help us meet the requirements to become a licensed fair by the Department of Agriculture,” Alicene said. “Some of these requirements include educating the community on live stock and the production of homemade products which can include apples, berries, and wine. It’s the best family value in history because you get a variety of attractions for only $10 a person. That’s less then taking your family to most amusement parks.”

This year founding director Jim Dillon of Jekins Township, received the Outstanding Fair Ambassador Award for his tireless efforts on bringing the community together and moving the region forward. The award was presented by Boots Heatherington of the Pennsylvania Department of agriculture.

Heatherington said he has never seen a story quite like Dillon’s.

“Jim Dillon has helped turn a small carnival into a prime tourist attraction for the community,” Heatherington said. “Without him we wouldn’t have as many families coming together today.”

The Northeast Fair pays out over $10,000 a year in contest money and has 27 rides. A contest favorite is the Apple Pie Contest which is judged on creativity, texture, appearance, and taste. This year the contest had eight entries. The top three pies included a blueberry apple peach, an apple grape, and a sour cream apple pie.

The contest was organized by Tammie Sciacca of Wyoming. Along with organizing the Apple Pie Contest, Sciacca runs the exhibit building which includes contests featuring evergreen trees, crafts, homemade wine, youth exhibits, vegetables, grain, farm equipment, and much more. Sciacca said she enjoys being a volunteer.

“I love interacting with the community and I’ve always loved supporting a good cause,” Sciacca said.

Popular rides include the fireball, Speed, the Zipper, the Crazy Bus, and many more. John Oliveri of Avoca said he enjoys the attractions every year.

“The fair is a great place where I can go with my friends and have a good time,” Oliveri said. “It’s nice because its become a tradition every year.”

Another popular event included the motor sports competition. This year the competition is the biggest in fair history and included a monster truck freestyle competition, auto racing, and demolition derby competition.

Aliciene says the food is also a unique part of the fair.

“We have 30 food concessions including ethnic dishes such as Mexican, Italian, and Polish food,” Aliciene said. “We also of course have fair favorites like cotton candy candy apples, and deep fried oreos.”

If you haven’t experienced the fun yet, gate admission is only $7 today from 1-4 pm. It includes all concerts, contests, unlimited rides, motor sports, and exhibits. Admission is good until closing time.