The Race Must Go On
McKean County Fair Association Seeks Race Promoter to Lease Track
Smethport, Pennsylvania – The annual fair has been a long-standing tradition in McKean County, dating
back to 1905 when a group of individuals banded together, raised funds by selling stock, and
constructed the first buildings on the fairgrounds. In addition to the structures where farmers could
display their produce and animals at the fair, a racetrack was also built during this time. In October of
that year, the first ever race took place on the newly constructed track, drawing in numerous spectators.
While so much has changed over the last 117 years, one thing has remained the same- the racetrack
located at the McKean County Fairgrounds is a popular venue among drivers and spectators alike.
However, in 2022, the track sat empty with no races being held.
“As a group, we are extremely disappointed that we were not able to secure a lease contract this year,”
said Tanya Okerlund, McKean County Fair Association President. She continued, “With the amount of
support that the races receive, we know that the community is disappointed as well.” The last race
season was run by J&K Motorsport Promotions in 2021, who chose not to renew their lease.
The Association acknowledges the need for improvements to the facility and has been actively seeking
grant funds over the last year without success. Christy Burkhouse, Treasurer for the Association noted,
“We are continuing to apply for any qualifying grants that are available to us but are also in the
beginning stages of planning a capital campaign to raise funds. This will obviously take an extended
amount of time and we hate seeing the track sit empty.”
The Association is now searching for a new race promoter to lease the track for the upcoming race
season. All interested parties are encouraged to contact the Association via phone at 814-887-5361,
email at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to Okerlund directly at 814-598-2919.
The McKean County Fair Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the rural community
in which it’s located by bringing people of all ages together to learn and experience agriculture. The association
is governed by a 30-person volunteer-only board of directors. Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of
each month, beginning at 7:30PM at the 911 Call Center in Smethport, PA. Committee and special meetings are
held as needed. All meetings are open to the public and any interested parties are welcome to attend