Just a 30-minute drive from Morgantown, a trip to Greene County, Pennsylvania, is a journey to a simpler time. This is farm country, where the traditions go back generations. But you don’t have to be a native to participate in the fun.
Located in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, Greene County is made up of 26 municipalities, including the county seat of Waynesburg Borough. Visit the county’s historical treasures—such as its century-old covered bridges, 7 Mail Pouch barns, and 7 old-timey general stores—and find yourself face-to-face with the past. Visit its farms and vineyards, and enjoy the fruit of its soil. The county’s many fairs and festivals offer activities that will appeal to any member of your family, and you’ll end the day tired, suntanned, and with a new friend or two. You just might find your quick weekend escape leaves you longing to return again and again.
The Greene County History Museum in Waynesburg contains, among other exhibits, a reconstructed cabin, a railroad house, and a printing press. “The exhibits aren’t behind ropes or barriers. They want the people to embrace it,” says Greene County tourism director JoAnne Marshall. The museum will unveil an old-timey barber shop exhibit in July. In Rices Landing, the W. A. Young and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop—boarded up after World War II—has been meticulously restored and is open every Sunday afternoon for demonstrations. “There’s not a single building like that in the nation,” Marshall says.
Thistlethwaite Vineyards in Jefferson grows 10 varieties of French hybrid grapes to produce a selection of red and white wines, which visitors can sample at the vineyards’ tasting room. The Shields Demesne Winery in Spraggs offers 16 varieties of melomels—a traditional European-style wine made with grapes and honey— aged in bourbon barrels. And, if you’re looking to make some fuzzy friends, call ahead for a tour of Lippencott Alpacas in Waynesburg.
High Point Raceway in Mount Morris is one of the nation’s top venues for motocross and ATV racing. And, because of the way the track is laid out, there’s no bad spot to watch. Flashlight Drags at the Greene County Airport allows anyone to get in on “street racing without the jail time.” For a different kind of autosports, check out the Lucas Oil Mega Pull, coming to the Greene County Fairgrounds on September 8, where high-powered trucks and tractors tear down dirt tracks.
Greene County hosts more summertime events than we have space to print. But here are a few of our favorites:
JACKTOWN FAIR | July 17–21
Wind Ridge’s biggest celebration offers livestock competitions, two nights of rodeo, truck and tractor pulls, live entertainment, and a carnival. The event kicks off with a huge parade with dozens of elaborate floats—residents along the parade route even decorate their homes for the events.
RAIN DAY | July 29
This Waynesburg tradition dates to the 1870s, when a farmer noticed it always rained on July 29. This grew into a celebration with entertainment, a craft fair, food, and an umbrella decorating contest. For the record, it has rained 115 of the last 144 years.
GREENE COUNTY FAIR | August 5–11
The county fair features livestock and home and garden contests, a petting zoo, carnival rides, and plenty of food vendors. Be sure to check out the demolition derbies—there will be two this year—and harness racing, which is something like a modern version of chariot racing.