York Town Square

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Young curators produce York Fair exhibit: ‘A Fair of Our Own’

That’s a display of a two-headed calf under inspection, part of a York Fair exhibit junior curators put together at the York County Heritage Trust, 250 E. Market St., York. Background posts: One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area, All’s Fair blog gives all kinds of insight about York Fair and Common genealogical query: ‘Is there still anyone living … related to this David Miller?’.

The York Fair is over for 2008, but it lives on in an exhibit at the York County Heritage Trust.
“A Fair of Our Own” will run through Oct. 24.
A squad of junior curators assembled the display from scratch, using whatever artifacts met their standards and could fit into a small area.
A York Daily Record/Sunday New story (8/30/08) tells about the exhibit:

Kate Chronister, 17, is interested in art and history and the possibility of one day being a curator at an art museum.
But the William Penn Senior High School student didn’t really learn what it would take until this summer.
Kate and six other teens have spent the past three months as junior curators at the York County Heritage Trust. They learned the ropes of creating a museum exhibit by picking a topic, researching and gathering artifacts to display.
“A Fair of Our Own: History of the York Fair” opened Thursday. The curators’ families and friends milled around the exhibits while the smell of popcorn and hot dogs wafted through the museum lobby.
“It’s kind of nice,” said Melissa Peterson, a 16-year-old senior at Central York High School. “All our work is getting recognized.”
Once the students decided to focus on the fair, they dug through the Heritage Trust’s collections and found more artifacts than they could use, they said.
They used the objects to show the fair’s history, its traditions and its oddities.
Among the items displayed are a two-headed calf, crushed pennies, a 1917 banner and photos of fair staples of the past, including a picture of the Mighty Atom, a body builder who sold snake oil at the fair for 50 years.
With limited space, the students had to choose their objects carefully. That meant some of their favorites didn’t make it.
Michelle Dailey, 16, of New Cumberland was attached to a pencil from Bury’s Hamburgers that she said was “a cool little piece of lore.” But it didn’t make the cut.
“We way overestimated space,” she said.
Diane Peterson said the program was a good opportunity for her daughter, Melissa, to learn about career opportunities.
“I think it’s an awesome experience,” she said.
Jennifer Hall, director of exhibits and collections at the Heritage Trust, said she lucked out by having students who worked hard.
“It turned out a lot better than we expected,” she said. “We were a little tentative because we gave them all of the control. You never know what could happen.”
She said she hopes to continue the program next summer.