Reflections: Memories of the Morrow County Fair


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



Alan Long with his champion guinea pig at the Morrow County Fair, 1969. Courtesy photo


It’s mid-week of the Morrow County Fair and as in the past, I love to look back and reminisce sharing my memories.

As I’ve noted before, I love the Morrow County Fair. I appreciate any fair because people of all ages can exhibit or share their talents, be it cooking, raising an animal, some form of sewing, art work, etc. Without a fair, where would these talents be displayed?

As a youngster, my three younger sisters and I were the guests of our neighbors, Guy and Grace Renz, when they took all four of us to the Morrow County Fair several days of the fair’s run. Guy was on the fair board and graciously drove us right through the front gate as his guests.

I remember running the fair grounds all day- with a few coins in my pocket – enough to foolishly spend in the Penny Arcade, cool off with a sno-cone, ride on the Ferris Wheel and work up my courage to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl. Yes, I was very cautious about “rides.”

There were no night shows until later but there were many harness races, with the grandstand full of spectators. I do recall going to one of the first night shows I think it was a daredevil auto show — maybe Joey Chitwood? Some readers may remember.

The grounds looked different then, there was only one entrance and right inside was the huge hill, which was later removed. There were food booths all over the grounds and those wishing to eat a more substantial meal could visit the dining hall at the front of the building It is no longer used.

We visited the many animal displays — several times because we were at the fair multiple days and many of our 4-H friends had entries.

As we grew older, we were all in the Cardington High School marching band at the same time and of course, marched at the county fair, in our uniforms, regardless of the hot weather.

In later years, I entered the cake baking contest and in two separate years my cakes, a carrot and later a chocolate, won the championship.

Most of all, I remember the camaraderie and friendship generated by the Morrow County Fair as we made many new friends. I appreciate all of the improvements made through the years and the continued dedication of those who prepare for this week — showcasing the talents of Morrow County residents.

Looking back

80 years ago: Frank Aliga, Cardington mayor for 14 years, announced he would seek his eighth term in November.

50 years ago: The 121st Morrow County Fair featured a total of 62 Four-H Club exhibits and five Grange displays. There were 58 concessions on the grounds.

Guy Renz, of Lincoln Township, a director on the Morrow County Agricultural Society for 25 years, was re-elected to a three-year term. Total attendance for the six day fair was 11,780.

https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2021/08/web1_Long-EvelynBW-3.jpg

Alan Long with his champion guinea pig at the Morrow County Fair, 1969. Courtesy photo
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2021/08/web1_Alan-Long-with-his-champion-guinea-pig-001.jpgAlan Long with his champion guinea pig at the Morrow County Fair, 1969. Courtesy photo

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist