70th Middletown Grange Fair
Grange is a grassroots, non-partisan, non-sectarian, fraternal organization with its roots in agriculture. Although the Grange was originally an organization of farmers, it has evolved to include people from all walks of life who have a common goal to make our world a better place to live. The Grange has been preserving the traditions that have made America a strong and caring country. Our Grange is active in promoting programs for rural communities on the local, state, and national level. We pride ourselves in our community service activities which have gained National recognition. Our fairgrounds is used to host and support many community events including Horse Shows, various 4-H events, Dog Shows, Car Shows, township festivals, The Village Library's Renaissance Faire and several other special interest events.
Our largest, most labor intensive, and most fun filled, event is our Grange Fair held annually in August. This year marks our 68th Fair. Please, join our community as we come together to enjoy fun, good food, entertainment, and to appreciate the talents of our neighbors as they enter over 5000 items ranging from cows to quilts.
The Middletown Grange Fair began in 1948 as a project of Middletown Grange to participate in a National contest sponsored by the Farm Journal Magazine to attempt to raise 300 bushels of corn to an acre. Grange members planted the corn on Heston Manor Farm near Yardley. The Grange decided to invite the public to attend and asked farm equipment dealers to participate in the harvest. In October, under the supervision of the Bucks County Agricultural Agent, the crop was hand harvested with a yield of 105 bushels per acre. At that first fair, there were exhibits of farm machinery, supplies, automotive and household goods.
In 1949, Three experimental crops were raised, one acre each of corn, potatoes and tomatoes. A two-day Fair was held to harvest the crops. New events included: Grange members' produce competition and a cattle show. By 1950, five one-half acre strips were planted to corn, and one acre was planted with two varieties of potatoes. Sixty exhibitors participated in the Fair with attendance in excess of 5,000 people.
By the early 1950's, the Fair featured cattle shows, tractor driving, fashion shows, machinery parades, square dancing, high school bands, television personalities and 4-H activities. The famous chicken barbecue dinners were introduced in 1954 when the Fair extended to a three- day event, including evenings. The Middletown Grange Fair Horse Show was added in 1965 and continues annually.
In 1966, the Middletown Grange purchased a tract of land in Wrightstown which became the site for the Fairs from this year forward. The summer of 1967 was a very busy season. A kitchen-dining hall was erected. This hall was previously a barn that was disassembled, stored, and reassembled by Grange members and friends. Even the asphalt roof shingles were reused. The first Grange Fair at this location was in 1967. Later, a portion of the land was made available to the community baseball league.
Two permanent buildings were built in 1976 to house the multiple Grange Fair exhibits of flowers, vegetables, hay & grain, needlework, arts & crafts, and the many displays of 4-H members. From a Grange family's contribution, a Judging Arena was built in 1991. The Middletown Grange Fair was awarded the winner of Zone IV for overall excellence in production of a quality Fair by the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs in January 1993.
In 1997, the Middletown Grange Fair was extended from a three day to a five-day Fair.
We would like to thank each and every person, group and organization responsible for supporting our all-volunteer Middletown Grange Fair. The costs of the Fair steadily rise each year, and reduced funding makes the task more and more difficult each year. Your support allows us to continue the tradition of presenting the Fair and continue the community services which make us very proud.