One place to always rely on something going on is the Greene County Fairgrounds. Located just eight minutes from Waynesburg University, this roughly 40 acres of space has room for all kinds of activities. The fairground is comprised of different sections that all serve a purpose. There is a track, different barns, two arenas, a softball field that fourteams use and 12 buildings marked with a number. Connecting the areas are multiple wide gravel roads.
“It’s a multi-use facility, primarily agriculture,” said Bret Moore, director of recreation for Greene County. “We have a lot of different agricultural groups here.”
The 4-H club holds their monthly meetings at the fairgrounds. Moore said that the meetings “teach kids agricultural principles and values.”
Some of the other agricultural affairs include different shows to display livestock and barrel races, but that is not all the fairgrounds is used for.
“It’s a community gathering place for a lot of different groups,” Moore said. “It’s way bigger than just an agricultural showcase.”
Other events include craft shows, flea markets and mine rescue training.
The fairgrounds have been hosting events that bring the Greene County community together since the early 1900s and have been a major part of the country’s history.
“The old fairgrounds was where the college football field is. The first couple years of the 20th century is when it moved here,” Moore said. Now, the Greene County Fairgrounds is located at 107 Fairgrounds Road, Waynesburg
Moore said that recently, EQT gave the fairgrounds a $100,000 grant to fix up the property. The fairgrounds have already begun repairs and will extend through this year. This money is going towards new flowerbeds, air-conditioning in some buildings, replacing windows and adding security cameras to prevent vandalism.
“That [the security cameras] is a major part of the grant,” Moore said. “Kids come in and do doughnuts and that kind of stuff.”
Moore said that he hopes to get more donations next year to allow them to keep improving the fairgrounds.
When driving by the fairgrounds, it is hard to miss the large grandstand. At the top, the view shows almost half of the fairground’s land. At the base of the grandstand is the Pulling Track, which is where just one of the biggest events, the Lucas Truck Pull, is hosted.
Another event that was held at the Pulling Track was the fairground’s first-ever Mud Run on Saturday, April 15. The Mud Run was hosted by BYBY Training, a coaching and mindset training company. The company is run by Ryan Krull, who previously had the mud run at his house.
“He would create a mud run through the woods on his property and it kinda got too big, like the parking and everything. He decided to ask the county commissioners if he could have it up here.” event staff and mother-in-law to Ryan Krull, Cassie Menhart said.
“It’s so open, it works so much better here,” said Jamie Krull, Ryan Krull’s wife, who was assisting with running the event.
At the event, community members had to conquer obstacles and do different exercises in thick mud. Stuck shoes were scattered throughout the muddy Pulling Track and children and parents were covered head to toe in mud, some enjoying it more than others.
James Porter was drenched in mud after completing the mud run with his daughter, Ellie Porter, who was also caked with mud. When asked if she wanted to come next year by her father, Ellie Porter shook her head. She agreed it was a bit too muddy and cold.
A parent that did not participate was Tasha Cottrell, who heard about the event on Facebook.
“It’s a good experience to get the kids out, get them exercising, gets them moving,” Cottrell said. “They really liked it, I wasn’t 100% sure they were actually going to like it, but they actually absolutely loved it.”
“It went very well and we are going to expand it next year and make it even bigger,” Moore said.
They want to make the mud run a tradition along with their already established events, including the annual Greene County Fair, which is held during the first week of August.
The fair has a rich history going all the way back to 1867. Despite it having some bumps along the way according to aGreene County Fair website, https://greenecountyfair.org/about-us including a lawsuit that was filed by a woman who lost an eye during a shooting-gallery incident, a plane crash during an air show and a devastating windstorm, it finally has continued to be an annual event since 2009. One individual who helps make the fair a possibility is the fair’s Board of Directors President, Eric Marshall.
“I’m pretty sure I can say I’ve done every job we’ve had down here at the fairgrounds,” Marshall said. “My family has always been associated with the fair, all the way back to my grandparents.”
Marshall’s father, Larry Marshall, who died last year, ran the fair for over 40 years. Marshall helped his father and grew up in Greene County.
“I’d take a week off of work and come down, we’d help him do everything,” Marshall said. “The gates, the security, just do everything that needs to have happened. There’s a lot that goes on. I mean we are down here probably 15 hours a day, every day, for eight or 10 days just making sure everything goes as smooth as can be.”
Marshall said that the Board of Directors for the Greene County Fair meets once a month to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
“We start planning for the next fair probably as soon as the last year’s fair is over,” Marshall said.
Marshall says that each element of the fair enhances its success, so it is important to bring them all together for the community.
“If you just try and do a livestock show or a carnival, or you just try and do the entertainment acts that we have, you’re not going to be as successful. It really takes all three of those things,” Marshall said. “There’s something for everyone. Not everyone wants to ride a ride, but they can watch the entertainment, or they can go in and look at the animals, or walk the grounds and see what’s going on.”
Along with the games, rides and shows, the agricultural side of the Greene County Fair plays a role. It hosts auctions and has contests for the vendors to participate in.
“It’s hard not to be exposed to agriculture at least somewhat in Greene County. My grandparents had a 280-acre farm that had cattle and sheep and we would help him all the time growing up,” Marshall said. “You understand what the farmers go through. It’s tough. They really have to work hard to be successful at it. The fair allows them to show off some of that.”
The Greene County Fairgrounds is not just used for open large-scale events like the fair but private events, as well.
“We host family functions such as birthday parties and things like that,” Moore said. “We also have banquets for organizations”
Moore said that the fairgrounds are also able to host different shows including bird shows, dog shows, craft shows and outdoor shows.
“We want everyone to use it,” Moore said.
To learn more information about the Greene County Fairgrounds or about how to rent one of the buildings to host an event, visit https://www.co.greene.pa.us/fairgrounds.