York Fair wraps up 252nd year with new attractions

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

York Fair general manager Mike Froehlich said the fair had another “very successful” run with new ideas and attractions in its 252nd year.

The fair ended Sunday night to attendance Froehlich said is looking to be a little over last year’s total attendance of 555,252. Actual attendance numbers are expected to be announced Tuesday morning.

Froehlich said one of the biggest changes this year came in the re-purposing of Heritage Hall into the new Ag Education Center.

The hall featured interactive educational exhibits such as corn and hydroponics displays and a small petting zoo to teach visitors about the area's agricultural industry.

There was also an area where parents and children could catch a glimpse of a live chick hatching under a glass dome.

“We’re going to continue that,” Froehlich said. He said the attraction was well-received by parents.

Froehlich said more than 700 students from Lincoln Charter School visited the fair on Thursday, Sep. 14, to tour the livestock facility (now moved to Utz Arena from Heritage Hall) and visit the new Ag Education Center.

Students from Lincoln Charter School enter the York Fairgrounds during a school trip to the annual York Fair.

“When you look at it, that (visit from Lincoln students) fulfilled our two missions, which is educating the public about agriculture and youth development,” Froehlich said. “What is better than getting that amount of students in here?”

Food still first: While Froehlich said he believes many attendees came for new attractions such as a new Bengal tiger show, Chinese acrobatic performances and the Ag Education Center, there has been a consistent top performer in their surveys for years.

“The number one reason why people attend fairs is food,” Froehlich said. “It’s the big attraction.”

While selection remains fairly consistent, Froehlich said the tasty treats such as funnel cake and unimaginable fried foods never go out of style.

Overall, Froehlich said, he is optimistic about the fair’s future after seeing the success of the past two weeks.

“We had another great year,” he said in his 10th fair as general manager.