Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated the wrong dates for the Canfield Fair. We regret the error.
CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – An evening of rooster auctions and ribbon cutting gave a lot of people something to crow about.
Everything kicked off when Canfield Fair board members and several others gathered on Thursday to help cut the ribbon for the Michael Kusalaba Fund of the Youngstown Foundation Event Center on the fairgrounds. The new event center will serve several functions but was needed because of how fast the 4-H program is growing.
“The concept was to raise money for this facility, for our Junior Fair and our community. It’s not just Junior Fair, we can have events here year around,” said Canfield Fair Board President Bob Jarvis. “The fair board is more than six days. We want to be here for our kids nonstop, but we also want this to become the center of our community. When the Mahoning Valley speaks, they come here, and that’s what we want. That’s what we’re excited to do. This is just the first and second phase of many new buildings.”
This year, 21 rooster statues were auctioned off to celebrate fair traditions, promote the arts and raise money for the Canfield Fair Foundation. Each 6-foot-tall rooster was sponsored by a local business and decorated by local artists. One of those artists was Bob Barko, Jr., who owns Steel Town Studios in Youngstown.
“I just kind of started thinking about all of the things that make the fair the fair,” said Barko, Jr. “He’s painted to look like the rooster on top of the grandstand. If you look throughout the entire design, you’ll see all kinds of little Easter eggs of different things featuring the fair and then the base is actually painted to look like one of the fair buildings.”
Before the auction concluded, bids were taken from the floor as well as online, and auctioneers monitored the online bids. There was even a WKBN-sponsored rooster that was auctioned off for $5,000. The money will help pay for the center’s expenses and construction.