Officials from West Alexander Fair and Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency gathered at the fairgrounds to start off the fair and other fall tourism events.
The colourful display, which was present at the fair was sponsored by the fair board and Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency, which also officially kicked off the county’s fall season of tourism events.
According to WCTPA President Jeff Kotula, tourism continues to be one of the largest industries in the county, accounting for nearly $750 million in direct annual visitor spending and supporting nearly 6,000 jobs.
Carrie Fischer Lepore, deputy secretary of the Office of Marketing, Tourism and Film for the state Department of Community & Economic Development, added Pennsylvania is home to more than 109 agricultural fairs, which attract more than 5.5 million visitors annually and contribute more than $126 million to the state economy.
“It’s an economic generator in both production and tourism,” Kotula said.
Fair board member Dwight Hunter said the 40-acre fairgrounds generates income on a nearly year-round basis, something that illustrates the progress it’s made over its long history.
It now hosts weddings, graduation parties, family reunions, weekly tractor pulls and a farmers market open from May to October.