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The Grange Fair: An American Tradition


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Joe Myers documentary focuses on an agricultural exhibition that began in Centre, PA, in 1874 and continues to lure thousands of people who temporarily transform the rural landscape into a miniature city for the annual festival. Says Dairy Princess Ashley Bird, People just think it s a regular fair, but as we all know, it s not, a sentiment expressed by everyone from child chicken farmers to nonagenarian needle-workers. Among those who look forward to the event all year long are 4-H Club member C.J. Zimmerman and baker Ruth Wolf, the latter attending since 1916, the year of her birth (Ruth s specialty is black walnut cookies). Myers follows some of the featured subjects for several months as they prepare for the big event growing crops, raising animals, canning, and doing handiwork. The fair s enticements include competitions, dances, tractor pulls, food, rides, agricultural vendors, and live performances, with most of the visitors and participants coming from small towns in the area (although Wolf travels from Reston, VA). Most of the arriving campers bring cars and trucks bursting with full-size furnishings to make their temporary living quarters as homey as possible (a tent-decorating contest may also be a motivating factor). A poignant and affectionate documentary capturing a fading piece of Americana the encampment fair The Grange Fair also nicely pays tribute to another endangered species: the small farmer. Recommended --Video Librarian

About the Director

Joe Myers has worked with Penn State Public Broadcasting, a PBS affiliate, since 2003. As producer/director of A Road to Independence, he won the 2006 Mid-Atlantic Chapter National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy award for Best Documentary. Working as an independent filmmaker in conjunction with PSPB, he was producer/director for The Grange Fair - An American Tradition, now in national distribution with PBS, which has been recognized with a Silver Screen Award in the U.S. International Film and Video Festival and with a 2005 Mid-Atlantic Chapter National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy award in the documentary category. He won a 2005 Mid-Atlantic Emmy in the feature/informational category for Geology in the National Parks. He has also produced a wide variety of award-winning public service announcements, programs, short features, and commercials. Myers is a 1998 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. Film and Video Production.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: -
  • Directors: Joe Myers
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Janson Media
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003DZAM4S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,973 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 8, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Every fifth degree Grange member should see this. This video does a great job of showing the nuisances that go on in preparation for the fair event. It also highlights why people go to the fair, which is a great part of the American tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on January 16, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This documentary captures a piece of agricultural America. The family support depicted is great to see; young people involved in 4H where they work hard to learn and achieve(rather than spending all their free time playing video games)was inspiring.
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Format: DVD
Joe Myers and Jeff Preston put together a wonderful piece of Americana here! They kept the tone of this documentary respectful and humorous and very genuine. A similar sense of community and camaraderie can be found in seasonal RV parks where people come back to greet the same friends year after year, driving hundreds of miles to make camp there. Maybe this explains the popularity of these RV parks, as they're becoming a substitute for traditional agricultural gathers and small, hometown neighborhoods. People create their communities and connect to one another whenever they're given a chance and an open field to set up camp in. This is a wonderful film for families considering 4H projects for their kids or for families considering hobby farming and the like. While it doesn't delve much into the rigors of full-time production farms and dairies, it does show a kid's perspective of handling livestock and poultry. Good fun and very touching. Well done!
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By MelissaS on July 1, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
No childhood like on a farm. Fabulous film!
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By Kindle Customer on January 30, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Interesting insight into the family fair. These are institutions that still hang on till this day. More so in the rural areas than the cities. They are part of the fabric of our country. I enjoyed this very much..
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
To quote the late, great Selma Diamond: "I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me". I can, (as a city boy), recall my first county fair. I watched the changes happen - sadly.
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By Benjamin S. Thacker on October 11, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Very informative look into one of America's great historical fairs. A look into the past and the special bond a comminity can have.
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