CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – After all this time, there is a lot of tradition involved in the Canfield Fair. That’s true for many of the vendors who come back year after year. One family’s tradition will continue, even if the man who started it all is no longer with them.
As this year’s edition of the Canfield Fair gets underway, there’s a familiar sight along the midway. It’s this little food stand offering funnel cakes and other goodies run by the family of Bill Mounts.
“This would have been his 41st year at Canfield Fair, so to make sure that we kept the trailer out here in the same spot, when we knew we could keep the same spot, keep everything the same was extremely important,” said Jim Serenko, Bill’s nephew.
Bill Mounts died in a terrible crash almost two years ago in Milton Township, just weeks after the 2019 Canfield Fair had ended. A passenger in his van was also killed.
With last year’s event largely canceled, the family knew they needed to keep his legacy going.
“It’s been pretty emotional. It feels very different being out here without him,” said Lesley Mounts, Bill’s daughter.
Lesley started working at the trailer with her dad when she was a child. This year, there’s a bench nearby that bears his name and those running the stand have matching shirts.
Family members say Bill took his stand out to all sorts of other events during the summer and fall months, such as fairs and other outdoor events, but they all knew come Labor Day Weekend, they would all be out in Canfield.
In keeping with tradition, it remains a family operation.
“We don’t — we’re not having nobody, you know, outsiders do it. It’s all — it’s a family thing, which is how he kept it for a long time,” Serenko said.
Already, there have been those who’ve stopped by, remembering Bill and his funnel cakes. Lesley expects there will be others.
“It definitely hits a different part of the heart, but it also makes me smile,” she said.
Especially knowing her dad is with her at the fair in spirit.