"It always rains once, every year," Venango County Fair Board secretary Penny Buckholtz said Wednesday about the weather at the fair.
While the folklore has held true again this year after Wednesday's showers, Buckholtz said most of the fair's shows and other events are unbothered by a little bad weather, mainly because the majority of animal demonstrations are held inside.
"The horses," Buckholtz said, show rain or shine and are delayed or rescheduled due only to lightning, which was the case intermittently Wednesday afternoon.
The only other events stopped for weather, Buckholtz said, are the truck and tractor pulls, derbies and other motorsports events.
Many families spend the entire week at the fair, camping with other families, children, and animals.
One such family, showing dairy cattle, consists of grandma Gayle Jones, grammy Peggy Weiser, Sandy Jones, and kids Jaidyn Swisher, 9, of Franklin; Kenna (4), Jill (5) and Layla (7) Jacoby of Titusville; and Maggie (6), Emma (4) and Josh (1) Jones, of Titusville.
That's a lot of little hands to keep busy all afternoon, said Gayle Jones. The family has learned to set up a small play area, gated off with plastic barriers, for the smallest kids.
Older kids, said Sandy Jones, are expected to help with chores, get dressed and ready for the next show, and see to their animals. The barn is rarely on downtime, said Sandy, even when lightning has events on pause.
More thunderstorms are possible today, according to the forecast, but Gayle Jones said she's got any thunderstorm beat.
Gayle said she remembers being at the fair several years ago, showing cattle with her own school-age children, when a tornado warning put a stop to everything for about 30 minutes.
Everyone scooped up their own kids and, if they had an extra arm, someone else's too and took shelter in the basement of the fair offices until the all clear was given, Gayle Jones said.
Buckholtz and several fair board members corroborated Gayle's recollections, adding that it was likely around 2006, though no one remembered the exact year.
No matter what though, the family agreed, being at the fair - as a family - is a much anticipated event, rain or shine.
STACEY GROSS, reporter for The Derrick and The News-Herald, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 676-7057.