Illuminated Ferris wheel and all, the York Fair is ready for opening day.

In celebration, this year's butter sculpture was unveiled Thursday night, revealing a boy holding a bag of Utz potato chips away from two hungry dogs.

Encased in a refrigerated booth, the sculpture was crafted out of 300 pounds of Land O'Lakes butter, said the Philadelphia-area artists, Jim Victor and Marie Pelton.

Pelton welded the armature "stick figure" that holds the butter in place out of steel, and Victor sculpted the butter figures by hand, they said. It took four days to finish the armatures and six days to complete the butter sculpting, they said.

Usually when creating sculptures for fairs, there is a consistent agriculture and dairy theme, Pelton said, so this year's project was a welcome change.

"I like the theme of it, the idea of it," she said. "It's nice to do something out of that box. Hopefully people will have fun looking at it."

And as far as Nicole McCord, the first-ever York Fair Queen, is concerned, the sculpture is a fitting nod to the recent rebranding of the York Expo Center's Toyota Arena as the Utz Arena.

"I absolutely love it: It's really neat, and I love the Utz potato chips," she said. "I think it's a really good tribute to the new sponsor this year."

Recycling: So what happens to all that butter once it's served its purpose?

"It has another life and becomes energy," said Pelton, explaining that it will be sent to a farmer in Mount Joy who uses a dairy digester to recycle it.

And prior to being turned into a work of art, the butter had been deemed unsellable and would have gone to waste, she said. That means the project is an environmentally conscious one, she said.

"I think it's a win-win there," Pelton said.

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