Reflections: It’s Morrow County Fair week


By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel



It’s Morrow County Fair week and I love the Morrow County Fair, as I have stated before. In fact, I love all county fairs as I think they are the backbone of our country- agriculture, youth, judging of a multitude of entries, food, entertainment – all add up to what I term “Americana.”

Going back to the generation before me, I remember my mother relating how the fair was the big event in her life as a youngster who grew up on a farm. Her mother would pack a lunch and the family would climb in the buggy in the early hours of the day and travel the five miles to the fair- grounds.

There was only one entrance- today’s Gate A- and the huge hill was to the left of that entrance. The hill was a spectator’s spot.

Fast forward, although there was no packed lunch, my parents would take my sisters and I to the fair for a day of fun where we were each given small funding to purchase whatever we wanted, including rides – which for me were limited to the merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and just once on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

I remember those snow cones, cotton candy, sugar waffles, and anything that wasn’t available the rest of the year.

My parents, after viewing the latest in farm machinery and the livestock and in my mother’s case, the art entries, would spend time watching the harness races, which ran daily.

In later years, as we were teenagers, our dear neighbor, Guy Renz, who was on the fair board, and his wife, Grace, would pile us “kiddies” as he called us, into their Pontiac and off we went to the fair almost every day- “free entrance.” What fun exploring everything on the grounds all day.

I remember in 1950, my last year in the Cardington band, which always played at the fair, I was in my uniform, minus the jacket because of the he and was on the Ferris Wheel with my fellow bandmates Donna Hart and Pat Long and as the wheel came down the photographer from an out of town newspaper, snapped our photo and it was published the next day- I still have that photo.

The fairgrounds has undergone many changes, the hill on which Boy Scout troops camped was removed in 1949.

The grounds has expanded to the south. Most of the old wooden buildings have been replaced with new modern facilities and many attractions have been added. Flood waters have visited the grounds through the years, one of the worst was captured in 1909 on a post card where there is a photo of a horse drawn buggy with two people seated in it in front of the grandstand and the water is up to the buggy’s floor.

I remember the many times flood waters have invaded the grounds, but restoration always followed.

I appreciate the work of all former and current fair board members and office staff who work hard to present this eight day event each year. I am especially proud of our junior fair, those who work hard on their entries and those on the junior fair board. Thank you. See you at the fair.

August, 1926

There were nearly 4000 automobiles owned by Morrow County residents according to the county auditor, Roy Miller.

Mt Gilead led by a large figure of the number owned in any one district with 423 passenger cars, 52 trucks, four trailers and one converted passenger car. Cardington had 274 passenger cars; 18 trucks, four trailers and 14 converted passenger cars.

August, 1946

Forty members of the Johnsville FFA and FHA attended Youth Day at the Ohio State Fair. They were accompanied by

Mr and Mrs. Richard Kile, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Grogg, Glade Bachelder and Roland Smith.

August, 1956

Volunteering for the August draft quota were Marvin Mason, Marengo; Nicholas Shauck, Mount Gilead and Donald

McClarren, Galion.

Ruth Gallagher was elected chairman of the Mount Gilead Ladies Golf Association.

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By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com