Bolton Fair returns for 139th edition filled with tradition, entertainment

The 2022 Bolton Fair is at the fairgrounds on Route 117 in Lancaster from August 12 to 14.

Lancaster – Bolton Fair cannot be stopped. Stopped, maybe, but didn’t stop.

World wars and pandemics may have disrupted the traditional fair’s 148-year history, but this year it veers from last year’s return as it prepares for the 139th Bolton Fair.

From August 12 to 14, the fair will showcase everything from agricultural demonstrations to midway rides, with an area filled with activities, entertainment, and food for fair-goers.

Fair President Rose Darden is overseeing the fair, having initially joined 31 years ago.

“I started in the exhibition hall at the Emerson School,” Darden said. “My first job was to make sure people didn’t touch the demonstrations.”

Today, she and an army of volunteers make sure that the performances are ready for fair-goers.

Since 1874, volunteers have been at the center of the preparation, a year-long effort that intensifies as time goes on.

Starting in Bolton, it recently (at the time of its history) moved to its property at the Lancaster Fairgrounds on Route 117.

“We’re taking advantage of that space,” Darden said, with popular attractions like the demolition derby.

At its center, the Bolton Fair remains an agricultural festival.

One might wonder what can be added to the full lineup (available at But it seems like every year there is some new attraction or the return of old favorites.

Livestock, tractor pull, agricultural performance all damage back to the original fair roots.

But a century – let’s make it almost a century and a half – has brought addition.

Reflecting on his own involvement, Darden simply said, “It’s been amazing.