WASHINGTON, Pa. - The 2012 Washington County Agricultural Fair opened with judging of the 4-H halls on Friday and a round off bake-off Saturday, while many area residents and 4-H Club members prepared their project animals for judging this week.
Taking first prize in the apple pie contest was 12-year-old Jessica Fortunato, the daughter of Frank and Marcy Fortunato of Canonsburg, Pa., and granddaughter of Tom and Linda Miller of Avella, Pa.
"When I didn't get fourth place, I thought I'd lost," said Jessica, who also won second prize in the youth division with her two-crust apple pie.
Corey Blosser, the son of Rachel Warner-Blosser of Avella, feeds his Suffolk cross lamb at the Washington County Agricultural Fair Saturday. The fair continues through Saturday.
Marcy Fortunato said Jessica had taken a "Pies and Potholders" class in North Strabane a few years ago and has wanted to enter the county fair pie contest for some time now.
"She made it for us, and her grandmother said that it was a blue ribbon-winning recipe, and it was," she said, adding that Jessica's 17-year-old brother, Frankie, might be a bit disappointed by his sister's win. "He was looking forward to eating pie this afternoon, but I guess she'll have to make one for us."
Jessica also is showing a goat and rabbits during the fair.
Also attending the fair was Corey and Katelyn Blosser, the children of Rachel Warner Blosser of Avella, with their Sulfolk Cross lambs. The siblings, who are members of the Cross Creek Ag 4-H Club, raise their lambs on their Avella farm, visit several fairs and plan to attend the West Alexander Fair in September. Katelyn had the 2011 Grand Champion market lamb.
Meagan Slates, who raised the 2010 Grand Champion lamb, and her sister, Kelly, the daughters of David and Denise Slates of Hickory, were in attendance with their York cross pigs. Kelly Slates is a Fort Cherry High School student and a member of the H.G. Parkinson Future Farmers of America.
Among those representing the Brush Run Ag 4-H Club was Shayla Miller, the daughter of Chris and Tom Miller of Avella, Pa. Shayla was showing her Hamp pig, Chuck.
Kennedy Hamilton, the daughter of Juanita Hamilton of Avella, Pa., was participating in the fair for the first year with her Percherons draft horse, Ellie, although she has been riding since she was 4 years old. Kennedy, an Avella High School student and member of the Buffalo Ag 4-H Club, planned to participate in the halter, under saddle and driving a lady's cart competitions.
"I can't wait," she said. "I love them all."
The fair, with the theme "Blast From the Past," continues through Saturday at the Washington County Agricultural Fair and Expo Center, located at 2151 N. Main St.
The fairgrounds will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Admission is $9 per person Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with special discount admission of $6 on Tuesday and Thursday. Monday is senior citizen day, with free admission for those 65 and older, and Friday is children's day, with free admission until 4 p.m. for those 12 and under. There is no charge for children 4 and under who don't ride.
Parking is available free of charge at the fairground lots.