Vendors and Attendees Enjoy Preview Day at Bloomsburg Fair

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BLOOMSBURG -- Preview day is the day of the Bloomsburg Fair with the least amount of people present.

Even so, everyone Newswatch 16 spoke with said it's their favorite day to come.

It's also a good day for the more than 12 hundred vendors because this "practice day" lets the vendors work out the kinks before the busy weekend.

Robert Kolar has been a vendor at the Bloomsburg Fair for about 40 years.  His pumpkin waffles are well-known.  Even so, he enjoys the fair's preview day so people remember his stand. "People get to find out where you're at.  Naturally they say, ‘oh boy’… there's our pumpkin waffles."

The 161st Annual Bloomsburg fair "officially" starts on Saturday, but the gates open Friday for several reasons.

One vendor said it’s great for seeing what’s at the fair. "It allows everybody to preview what we have going on, what you can smell, see, taste and hear and all that kind of good stuff,” said Carrie Charles who runs Nanna’s Nook.

People were allowed to come to the fair for free until two o'clock.  After 2 p.m., admission was only three dollars.

"This way, they can come in, see what's new at the fair and plan their week accordingly to what day they're planning on coming back,” added Kolar, famous for Kolar’s pumpkin waffles.

Before Randy Loch of Loch's Maple Syrup opened, he got some last minute cleaning done.

"It gives you the chance to get everything sorted out in case you've got any issues.  It's a little bit slower today. We can get things working and make the rest of the week as good as we can,” said Loch.

Another vendor was able to make sure his equipment was correctly working. "Make sure the propane is working right, all your warmers are working right, the Pepsi machine is right.  It gives us time to work the kinks out before the big day on Saturday,” said Thomas Powell, Pap’s Ribeye Steaks.

While preview day is helpful for him, Powell likes hearing how much fairgoers enjoy it too.

"If they come on Preview Day, it is $3.00 to get in, and they can find all the stands they want,” added Powell.

Preview Day is a great day for the people who come to the Bloomsburg Fair for a lot of reasons.

People tell Newswatch 16 that besides the reduced admission price, they like coming to preview day because it is less crowded.

Helen Shaffer of Bloomsburg lives close to the fairgrounds.  She looks forward to the fair and comes several times a week. “Sometimes, four times a week,” she said.

Shaffer says her favorite day to come to the fair is preview day.

Shaffer sums up why in about five seconds: "Free parking, free admission, and you get to see a lot more because it's less crowded."

"You can walk around and see what you want to see without having five people standing right next to you,” said Paul Venarchick from Danville. He came with his wife Elaine. “We like it on Preview Day because as you see, there's not a lot here, and the vendors, some of them are opening up early for their testing, so we like to go see what's new."

Rick Steele of Shamokin Dam looks forward to sampling his favorite fair foods. "The sausage sandwiches, the potato cakes, the pierogis - all the local favorites."

Terry Levan came from Elysburg to scope things out. "Just check to see if anything's new for this year so we know what we're going to show the grandkids when we walk around and what not,” said Levan.

There are some downsides to preview day.  Most of the animals aren't at the fair, and the exhibition buildings are closed for judging.  Other than that, this fair is in full swing, and the vendors Newswatch 16 spoke with say they are ready for the week ahead.