CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBNF) – More color from the Canfield Fair to go along with the Purple Tent and the t-shirt booth. In fact, it’s right along Bishop Street too. This place is taking over the fair one rose at a time.
A rainbow of colorful roses for sale at the fair, but these are quite different. They’re made out of shaved balsa wood. Each one is a foot tall. The stems are a wire so you can bend them.
“I think the biggest thing is that people can’t believe that they’re not real. They come up all the time and they are like, ‘Are these real?’ And it’s like, nope, they’re made out of wood. They just can’t believe it,” said Mike Rhodes, with Happy Toad’s Wood Roses.
Rhodes is from Sharon. The story started when he got 1,600 of the roses as a friend cleaned out an office two decades ago.
“If you can sell these, they’re yours and I’ll give you the contact information of the people that sell them,” Rhodes said,
The former magician made them disappear in a day. The wood roses have bloomed into a career with no thorns. Rhodes sells them at county fairs and festivals around Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Rhodes doesn’t make the roses. He buys them in cases of 800 from Colorado. He carries 24 colors at a time, and that can be a dilemma.
“When I was living in California selling these I had a teenage girl. It took her 45 minutes to pick a dozen roses. It was just crazy,” he said.
The roses are $1 each, perfect for young lovers, or $20 for two dozen for those who need a gift that lasts or to take to a retirement home or hospital.
Rhodes brought 40,000 roses to the fair, wanting to be more prepared after selling 27,000 last year in six days.
‘Black is my number one color. I don’t know why but it just is. I cannot keep it in stock,” he said.
Black and yellow are the top two sellers at the Canfield Fair.
Out of 24 colors, the traditional red rose is the second least popular.