Early in the spring of 1949 a group of men in East and West Goshen townships near West Chester in Chester County, Pennsylvania, began the process of forming a fire company. Toward the end of that summer the first Goshen Fair was held. It was a carnival and its primary purpose was to raise funds for the future Goshen Fire Company. The three day event was repeated the following year with all of the labor and some of the prizes for the games of chance donated.
Local farmers and nurserymen donated potatoes, eggs, peaches and other products for one of the games of chance. Philadelphia Electric Co., now PECO, gave the fair a flat rate and a free hook-up for the event. Local horse and pony owners provided pony rides, and a local broadcaster served as MC from the hay wagon used as a bandstand. The fair expanded to a full week after a few years. One year when plagued by rain, it was expanded for three days into the following week. That proved to be too much for the volunteers working at the fair, so it was not done again.
With each succeeding year, the interest of the community grew and the fair became a popular meeting place for friends and neighbors. With growth, livestock and poultry shows were added and the name was officially changed to Goshen Country Fair. When the Miss Pennsylvania contest was held in West Chester during the 1950s, Miss Pennsylvania made her first public appearance after being crowned, at the Goshen Country Fair. Miss Pennsylvania 1955, Evelyn Ay, who later became Miss America, appeared at the fair. The poultry exhibits were discontinued some years ago, but made a comeback in 2008. The dairy cow, dairy goat and sheep shows continue. Rabbit shows were added in 2007. Family living contests were added in 1971 and have grown to include needlework, baking, floral contests, apiary products, photographs, and beer and wine making. A Lego building contest is offered for the youth. A complete list of all contest can be found under livestock and agriculture in this website.
Majestic Midways continues to provide carnival rides after an association of over 30 years. Games of chance and food stands are staffed by members of the Goshen Fire Company and volunteers from the community. Bingo, a glass toss, basketball hoops and pan ball are some the popular games offered. French fries, pizza, hot dogs, fr hamburgers, pork barbarque and home made donuts compete for fairgoers taste buds. One of the highlights of the week's entertainment is a tug-o-war competition among local fire companies with the Saturday night pull crowning a champion for the year.
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