Morrow County Reflections: It’s fair time in Morrow County

It’s fair time in Morrow County, one of my favorite events in my home county and the 167th edition promises to be as great as the previous 166!

My family were avid fair lovers, especially the local fair and my parents took us for a day’s visit each year. I remember the grounds when there was only one entrance, today’s Gate A, and just inside was the large hill to the left. I have old photos taken from that hill showing the buggies lined up along the race track.

My mother often shared her memories of the fair when she and her brother and parents packed a lunch, planning to stay all day.

Harness racing was run every day when I was a youngster and my parents loved to watch it, sometimes just standing along the fence. I’m glad the horses are still racing at our current fair.

I remember cotton candy, snow cones, waffles and the old Penny Arcade where I put a penny in during the 1940s and received a post card size photo of actor Ronald Reagan — I saved it — because later I put another title on the back, president.

I have the fondest memories of going to the fair every day with our neighbor and his wife. He was on the fair board and drove us four “kiddies” as he called us, right through the gate where we had the privilege of roaming the grounds all day.

Later, I remember playing in the high school band as we marched around the race track in full uniform without jackets – very warm but we didn’t mind.

There were rides but not the sophisticated ones of today. I could handle the Merry-go-Round, Ferris Wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl but not much else. When our boys were youngsters their dad took them on these rides — thankfully.

Champions? My son’s Guinea Pig was judged grand champion one year and what celebrating! Later, my Carrot Cake was judged grand champion.

More celebrating.

I appreciate every project and entry at the fair — and the work the owners did to prepare. I love seeing people at the fair- some that I only see from one fair to the other. I hope you visit the Morrow County Fair this week.

It’s a great place to meet old friends and make new ones while enjoying a host of amenities. (Please, no rain!

A LOOK BACK : In the early days, the Morrow County Fair was held in late September and/or early October for three days. All of the schools were dismissed for the fair.

In 1926, the 76th year of the fair, there was a 90 piece Morrow County Band prepared to play. There were $12,000 in premiums, racing purses, and other attractions. The fair was held September 21-24 and the board president was G. W. Turner.

In 1936, Mrs. Lawrence Weaver of Mount Gilead, won the telephone contest at the fair. People were asked to guess the number of telephone calls made in the 24 hour period of October 4. There were 2,288 guesses and Mrs. Weaver’s guess of 3,262 calls in that 24 hour period won.

Actual calls made totaled 3,359. This was sponsored by the Ohio Central Telephone Company.

1946: The five high entrants in the Morrow County Junior Fair this year were Dale Hartpence, Mt. Gilead, 137 points; Bruce Levering, 135 points; Edwin Harvey, Cardington, 75 points; Mae Bachelder, Chesterville, 73 points and Carolyn Hubbell, Sparta, 71 points.

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By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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