CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – This year, the Canfield Fair is celebrating a big milestone: 175 years! At the fair, the Mahoning County Agricultural Society has put together a display of highlights from the fair’s long history.
The timeline starts along Machinery Row with the fair’s beginning in 1846, when it was just a one-day fair.
“People brought their ox teams in, their horse teams in. It was just an opportunity for the early farmers to get together and share their agricultural ideas with one another,” said George Houk, with the Mahoning County Agricultural Society.
You’ll see nine boards that pick the highlights and show some pictures from the fair’s history throughout the years.
There are rooster tracks on the ground to lead you to each display, and you’ll wind up at the Hay and Grain building.
You’ll learn The Big Rock debuted in 1958 and the Rooster was added to the grandstand 10 years later.
There’s also an interesting highlight from the Lennon Sisters’ performance in the early ’50s.
“The Lennon Sisters then went to Kilcawley’s farm and he had housekeepers and that sort of thing. When they got done eating dinner, the Lennon Sisters got up from the table and went to the kitchen, started clearing the table and doing the dishes. Mr. Kilcawley said, ‘No, no, no. We don’t do that. You’re my guest.’ The Lennon Sisters and Mr. Lennon said, ‘No, that’s the way my daughters were raised,'” Houk said.
Houk is at his 68th fair. He remembers John Glenn speaking there, along with governors and presidents. Picking one highlight was impossible.
“We’re here because of our history, and then we want to make sure that we remain the Mahoning County Agricultural Society because that’s really what has made the fair what it is,” he said.
The first time the fair charged to get in, it was 1 shilling, which was 12.5 cents at the time, and there was an uproar.
In 1916, there was a polio outbreak that caused parents to be afraid to take their children out into crowds.
In 1896, the fair was postponed for two weeks because of bad weather.
In 1967, there was a record Sunday attendance of 102,000 people.