Animals attract kids at York Fair

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- There are many things to see and do at the York Fair, but what would a fair be like without animals.

Some animals compete for best in show, while others are just for show.

Practically every corner of the York Fair has animals on display. Usually, wherever there are animals, kids aren't too far behind.

Some come to the fair to look at animals, some come to judge, and some hope to win a prize, but most have one thing in common.

Josh Snyder came to the fair with his two-year-old nephew Bradley.

"He's a kid, he loves animals, good place for him," Snyder said.

After all, it's not every day you can see chickens, goats, and other animals off the farm, or stingrays out of the sea.

Sigler Hollow Farms owner Mike Sigler said "it's good to give them the experience. It's nice to see kids who don't get a chance to see this stuff everyday, to get out and see it."

American Poultry Association Judge Mike Wasylkowski said "most kids, well most people, not just kids, really don't have a faint idea of where our food comes from. They live where they don't see animals, all the time."

At the fair, many kids get up close and pets with a fine-feathered friend or even butterflies. The experience may last a lifetime.

"Well, I've had chickens since I was a real little boy, and started with 4-H like most people do," Wasylkowski said.

The goats at Goat Mountain aren't just the subject of 4-H projects, but another food source.

"Instead of shearing sheep, we decided to get into the meat goat market. The meat goat market is actually a growing market, in that 80 percent of the world eats goat meat. The U.S. is kind of the oddball," Sigler said.

Meanwhile, six-year-old Macie Rogers has a different plan for her Mini Lop rabbits.

"Show them against other rabbits and see if they'll win. Sometimes you get trophies, sometimes you get ribbons," Rogers said.

Rogers already won best in breed at another competition recently, but when the young rabbit-raiser was asked about her chances of winning at the York Fair, her modest answer was "I don't know."

Later in the day, Rogers won every class with her Mini Lops, as she had Best Reserve of the entire show.

A job well done.