Amid the flow of gleeful faces of children and adults looking at pumpkins every day at the York Fair, was the smiling face of Gloria Rudacille.

"I'm babysitting the pumpkins," Rudacille said with laugh.

In her four years working at the pumpkin tent at the fair, she has never seen as many entries as this year.

"Last year because of all the rain a lot of people didn't make it in, and they said that it wasn't a good year for growing pumpkins," said Rudacille, 59, of York Township.

According to a news release from Gene Schenck, York Fair president, the 2012 fair's total attendance tally - 642,263 visitors - is a new record.

The fair week weather was excellent, and visitors enjoyed checking out the 323 pumpkins that were entered to be judged in one of three categories - perfect specimen, decorated and neck pumpkins.

Throngs of people enter the York Fair from Carlisle Street on Sunday.
Throngs of people enter the York Fair from Carlisle Street on Sunday. (John A. Pavoncello photo)

Adults are usually the ones who admire the perfect looking pumpkins, Rudacille said.

"But the kids would rather have the decorations on them and there is not one pumpkin decorated alike," said Rudacille.

A lot of people tell her this is their favorite spot at the fair, and Rudacille personally enjoys going to see all of the different exhibits when her shifts at the pumpkin tent are completed.

She has fond memories of frying chicken with her family to bring to the fairgrounds for a picnic when she was a child, and says that a lot has changed at the fair since then.

She misses the cattle barns that have been torn down, and the dirt pathways that have now been replaced with sidewalks and macadam.

Now instead of a fried chicken picnic, Rudacille looks forward to a steak sandwich from the York Little Theatre's stand and dessert from Lola's Waffles and Ice Cream.

Caleb and Becky Wright of Springettsbury Township were at the fair Sunday for the second time ever with their three children - Logan, 8, Brody, 6, and Lily, 3.

"The kids love the rides, and I like the animals," said Becky Wright.

Her sons were also mesmerized by the remote control monster truck racing.

Edith Kaumans, 44, of Adams County, said that she could not peel her 11-year-old son away from watching the racing on Sunday.

Kaumans goes to the York Fair nearly every year - even through hurricanes one year, she said.

"We got soaked, but it was still so much fun," said Kaumans.

The addition of dog races to the annual pig races was a highlight of this year's fair and as always, the food.

She sampled chicken pot pie, cheesesteaks, and kettle corn at the fair and planned to buy ham and cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes and fried vegetables to take home.

Others, like James Green, avoided the food.

"The prices are too high," Green said, while he helped park cars on Sunday as he had each day of the fair.

Green, 62, of York City, said the fair seemed busier than ever this year.

"It seems more out-of-town people are coming in," he said.

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com