The Mifflin County Youth Fair was established in 1954 at the Gardenview Sales Center as a 4-H Roundup.  The 1955 exhibition was held at the Kishacoquillas Park, a public amusement park in Derry Township, Mifflin County, and was sponsored by the Mifflin County Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), the Mifflin County Senior Extension Club and various other organizations.  The Jaycees sponsored the fair from 1955-1963 at the Kish Park.

youth fair
    A softball tournament between the Community Clubs was a big part of the fair along with all the other 4-H exhibits and projects including conservation, Shasting Sports and Tractor Driving.  The Mifflin County Youth Fair at this point was looking for a permanent home.

    In 1964, the A. Reed Hayes family (a very involved 4-H family) donated an eleven acre plot of ground in the town of Reedsville.  This became the home of the Mifflin County Youth Fair.  At this time a Youth Park Commitee was formed and the first building was built to be used for the 1964 Youth Fair.  The Mifflin County Jaycees continued to sponsor the Fair in cooperation with the Youth Park Committee.  The first all season building was built in 1965.

    In 1966, the first livestock sale was held at the Youth Park with receipts totaling $5,530.37.  Prior to this sale, 4-H swine were sold at the local sale barn.                                                                                                                    
sale

    Clarification of duties was made about 1966 when a new committee was set up to manage the park facility and real estate.  Presently, the Youth Fair Committee sponsors the fair.  the main purpose for the Youth Park is to host the Mifflin County Youth Fair but it is used for many other activities throughout the year.

    F.F.A. started exhibiting at the fair in 1958.  A plaque in the main exhibition building acknowledges the donation of the site by the A. Reed Hayes Family.  It states...

        “May this facility always be used in service to the Youth of Mifflin County.  Let us all strive to assure that the programs offered through the facility be for the benefit and growth of our youth.”

  In 2002, the fair association applied to the PA Department of Agriculture for acceptance into the Ag Fair Program, thus becoming eligible for funding.  Eligibility was met following the 2006 fair.   

 

(written by Frank Bonson)