The scent of funnel cakes, cheese sizzles, and livestock are in the air this week at the 170th annual Lorain County Fair.
Fairgoers from all over Ohio visit our backyard for a week of exhibits, competitions, and live music representing the best of what local 4-H’ers, farmers, crafters, and performers have to offer.
Fair board president Kim Meyers said the first day went smoothly. While he was pleased with the crowd, turnout this year is expected to drop off compared to 2014.
That can largely be attributed to a quirk of the calendar. The fair is held two Mondays before Labor Day each year and this year that meant competition with the first week of school for many local districts.
But Meyers still expects big events like the tractor pull and demolition derby to draw huge crowds.
Andrew Monday of Lima, Ohio, has been coming to the fair for more than 30 years.His favorite part is being able to bring his children, Gracie and Rhys, and create memories with them.
“I enjoy showing them about where I used to hang out and stomp around,” he said.
Monday grew up in the Keystone school district and said coming to the fair every year is a tradition.
Gracie, 10, said her favorite aspects of the fair are the rides and the food.
Monday described the fair as good family fun at an affordable price.
The fair is also a family affair for Renee Koepp of Litchfield. She’s attended the week of festivities for about 25 years and always brings her son Kevin to the fair for his birthday.
“I come more for the kids,” she said. “The food and the rides is what they enjoy.”
With Koepp was her son Kevin, 12, and his friends Justin Bowen, 12, and Avery Blankenship, 12. All three boys said they love the food and animals and both contribute to their desire to return every year.
Meyers has been a part of the first day of fair for 11 years now and three of those years he’s served as president of the fair board, presiding over the week’s opening ceremony.
Although he does enjoy the food and exhibits offered during the week, they aren’t what he most looks forward to each year.
“I look forward to seeing the people,” he said.
As head of midway concessions, Meyers has built a relationship with a lot of the food vendors and he enjoys having the week to catch up with them.
Meyers expects Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to draw the biggest crowds just as in years past and he plans to be at the fairgrounds every day.
“It’s my home away from home,” he said.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Civitas Media Andrew Monday and his children Rhys and Gracie enjoy lunch at the Lorain County Fair. They are among the 100,000 or so who visit the fair each year.