West End Fair - Gilbert PA
The West End Fair in Gilbert PA is one of my family's favorite annual summer day trips. The fair is typically held during the last full week in August and runs from Sunday through Saturday. The friendly, family-oriented atmosphere is what brings us back here each year. A good portion of the fairgrounds is shaded by large trees so even in the late August heat, a trip here is usually pleasant.
When it was founded over eighty years ago, one of the fair's main goals was to be a grand celebration of rural life. That goal is still alive today and is reflected in the many agricultural and livestock displays. Kids will love getting a close up view of horses, chickens, goats, cows, rabbits and more. A year later, my six year old still talks about the humongous rabbit she bonded with at last year's fair. For germ phobic parents like me, rest assured there are plenty of hand sanitizing stations set-up around the livestock exhibits. Agricultural and craft exhibits cover a number of categories including vegetables, flowers, wine and beer making, needlecraft, photography and much more.
There are also many vendor exhibits throughout the fair featuring everything from tractors, to spa tubs to landscaping services. One really quirky thing about this fair that always amuses us is the unbelievable number of tombstone vendors exhibiting here. Really, shopping for tombstones at a fair is kind of a buzz kill, isn't it?
The West End Fair isn't just livestock, tombstones and agriculture, it also has kids rides and midway-type games. Most kids will enjoy the selection of rides here, although don't expect to find any super theme park style thrill rides. The amusements at the West End Fair are your basic carnival rides. Rides generally open at noon and an all day wrist band (available on many, but not all days) lets you ride until the fair closes for the day.
If you're interested in the history of the fair, be sure to stop by the West End Fair Museum which display highlights from the last 88 years.
Insider Tip: Thursday is usually Kids Day at the fair when there are some special kids contests. However, we prefer to go on Wednesday (Senior Citizen Day)when the fair opens a few hours earlier (10am vs. noon on most other days). That way we can tour the exhibits in the cool morning hours. By noon the kids are ready for some rides and we rarely encounter any lines on Wednesday afteroons
Entertainment at the West End Fair is an eclectic mix and may include everything from demolition derbies, Monster Truck rallies, Elvis impersonators, polka bands, marching bands, magicians, country singers, rock bands, dance performances and more. Shows at the band shell and main stage are included in the price of admission. Some events in the main arena such as the demolition derby and Monster Truck shows have a separate admission fee.
There is a fireworks spectacular on opening night and throughout the week there is usually some type of family oriented entertainment such as a circus or animal show. These shows are generally included in the price of admission.
Insider Tip: There is limited seating available at the band shell and main stages, but there is plenty of room to set up chairs. So, if you want to attend a performance at one of these venues, bring along a folding chair or two.
Good To Know
- Admission to the fair is very reasonably priced and kids under age 11 are free.
- On Senior Citizen Day (usually Wednesday), those age 65 and older get half price admission.
- There are restroom attendants who clean the restrooms, provide towels, etc. and appreciate a tip. Remember to bring some change if you're planning to tip.
- Yes, this is a fair, so expect to see plenty of fair-type food including french fries, ice cream, cotton candy, etc. There are also many food stands run by local organizations such as church clubs and the Lions Clubs. We have generally found the food prices to be reasonable and the quality of the food to be pretty good.
- The West End Fair is an easy drive from the Poconos (approximately 20-25 minutes from most areas) and makes a great day trip for those vacationing in the Pocono Mountains. Read about other Pocono attractions
- It's easy to get to the West End Fair which is located about 14 miles from the Mahoning Valley Exit off the PA Turnpike (northeast extension). Here are specific directions to the West End Fair in Gilbert PA
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Fair features, attractions and policies subject to change. Please verify features directly with the fair.