Now that Tom and I are back in Ohio we have been busy seeing people and doing things. So many people to see, so little time! Of course, we always spend lots of time with my parents and as much time as possible with John and Jackie. We are continuing our adventure days with my parents and our first adventure day this visit was to the Wayne County Fair.
My mom grew up on a dairy farm in Wayne County, so she has been attending this fair since she was a child. The first Wayne County Fair was held in 1849 when the Wayne County Agricultural Society was organized. In 1869 the Agricultural Society moved the fairgrounds to a new location outside Wooster because there was room to expand and add a racetrack. But this fairground was never very popular, possibly because of a murder that took place at the fair in 1879. In 1887 the current fairgrounds were leased by the Agricultural Society. When the location proved successful, the County Commissioners bought the ever-expanding fairgrounds in 1902.
This year the Wayne County Fair was held from September 10 to 15. We attended on Monday, September 12, a day that local schools were closed so students could attend the fair. It was also a beautiful day, with a little cooler weather, and there were thousands of people at the fair. They expected attendance to be around 180,000 for the week of the fair this year.
Despite the crowds, we had a wonderful time. Aunt Anne met us and served as our guide to the fair. She and Uncle Paul are active with the fair and are in charge of the antique barn. We started by going through the animal barns. We spent a lot of time walking through the 4-H animal barns. Mom and Aunt Anne were both in 4-H and my sister and I were both active in 4-H. So I was very interested to see what kind of projects the 4-H kids were doing. We watched some pigs being shown and enjoyed seeing the sheep, horses, cows, goats, turkeys, rabbits, and chickens. We saw several people washing and blow-drying chickens and turkeys to get them ready for judging. The 4-H kids who have animals at the fair generally stay at the fair all week and even sleep in the same barns with their animals. It was neat to see the special bonds they share.
We ate lunch at the pork tent where I had an excellent pork loin sandwich. Tom even skipped the pulled pork for pork-on-a-stick that he said was really good. We checked out the 4-H booths, looked at art entries from local schools, and spent some time in the antique barn. The antiques were focusing on the years 1840 – 1870, so a little past the time period Tom and I have been living in.
I was particularly interested in the Grange exhibits. The Grange, officially referred to as The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture. The Grange, founded in 1867, is the oldest American agricultural advocacy group with a national scope. Members of the Grange are still active as lobbyists in Washington DC, supporting the rights and needs of our farmers and rural citizens.
We couldn’t leave the fair without indulging in a little “fair food.” I got an apple dumpling with ice cream, Tom had a cinnamon roll, and Mom and Dad shared a funnel cake. Everything was delicious!
I have been attending county fairs and state fairs since I was a child and it was nice to spend a day back in our roots. We certainly enjoyed our day at the Wayne County Fair.