"Franklin", the fair fish, beats the odds as annual county event gets underway

Molly Nowell got a souvenir from the Franklin County Fair that has lasted well beyond expectations. She admits her goldfish is “icky” to touch.

It is July and fair time. The Franklin County Fair will run July 6 - 12 at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club, 3725 Warm Spring Road. Once again, it will feature agricultural exhibits and contests, royalty, carnival rides, motorized exhibitions and music.

Amid all the sights and sounds of the fair, someone may be as lucky as Molly Nowell was eight years ago. Now 18, she was just a girl when she won a goldfish at a midway game. She proudly brought it home, and it did not die within the first week. Or month. Or year. Today Franklin, so aptly named, swims in a 55-gallon tank in the Antrim Township kitchen.

“He just hangs out at the edge, but sometimes floats upside down,” Nowell said.

He was 18 inches long before part of his tail broke off. No one knows his weight.

“That will be post-mortem,” said Melissa Nowell, Molly’s mom.

The fish eats pond pellets twice a day. Goldfish flakes are no longer sufficient. He also won’t share his space with traditionally-sized goldfish or snails. They tend not to survive around him.

The family wonders how Franklin will do when Molly heads off to college in the fall. She wonders what people planning to attend the fair will think about her aquatic pet.

“Parents may not allow their children to play that game.”


Free before 1:30 p.m. each day. Visitors are invited to patronize the food stands and view outside exhibits.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday - $10 a car load. $5 singles and walk-ins.

Friday - $10 per person age 13 and older, $3 per person age 6-12, free under age 5.

Free parking.


Fair and food stands are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Exhibits are open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Rides 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with $12 wrist band. On Wednesday rides are $1 each. No rides available Sunday and Monday nights.

Fairground closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic every midnight to 6 a.m.


Sunday, July 6 -Youth Horse Show, 1 p.m. in the newly renovated ring.

41st Annual Vesper Service, 6:30 p.m. Pastor David Grove from Ebenezer United Brethren Church will speak. Bring lawn chairs.

Monday, July 7 - 4-H Rabbit Show, 4 p.m. in the show tent. Franklin County Little Miss Contest, 5:30 p.m. 4-H/FFA Stockman’s Contest, 6 p.m. Franklin County Princess Contest, 6:30 p.m. Truck and Tractor Pull, 7 p.m. in the arena. 4-H/FFA Dairy Judging Contest, 7 p.m. in the show tent. Franklin County Fair Queen Contest, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Juy 8 - 4-H Dairy Roundup, 9 a.m. 4-H/FFA Junior Steer Show, open heifer, 6 p.m. in the show tent. ATV Dirt Drags, 6:30 p.m. Baked goods sale, 7:30 p.m. in the food pavilion. Karaoke Night 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9 - Youth Goat Show, 10 a.m. Demolition Derby, 6:45 p.m. Skid Steer Rodeo, 7 p.m. 4-H FFA Animal Dress-Up Parade, 7:30 p.m. in the show tent. Franklin County Got Talent, 7:30 p.m. at the midway stage.

Thursday, July 10 - Antique and Farm Stock Tractor Pull, 6 p.m. Holstein Open and 4-H/FFA Dairy Shows, 6:30 p.m. in show tent. Whiskey River Band, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on the midway stage.

Friday, July 11 - Dairy Shows, 9:30 a.m. in show tent. 4-H/FFA Dairy Cattle Showmanship Contest, 7 p.m. in the tent. Truck and Tractor Pull, 7 p.m. in the arena. Pro Wrestling with The Patriot, The Stro, Bill Bain, Travis Dufout, Simon and Shane Shadows, Joel Michael Landis, Steven Sarx, Wes Lockbaum, and Jacob Young, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12 - Fun Day. Youth Barnyard Olympics noon to 2 p.m. Free kiddie rides 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Flea Market and Craft Show all day. Concert by Lindsey Erin at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on the midway stage. Full Power Demolition Derby 7 p.m.