Friday, September 2, 2011

Canfield Fair

Unless you are blind in the Youngstown area, these five days with Labor Day are the Canfield Fair, starting on Wednesday. At least 4 to 5 stories in the Vindicator are on the fair. The TV and radio stations broadcast from the fairgrounds. Big white signs with red letters inform you of the best route to the fair on all the country roads around this area.
I try to think how we came when I was just a real young girl. Most likely the back way through southwest West Midddlesex country, Poland, OH and US 224 when it was so long with few businesses. My little girl heart was thrilled for some reason to see cars drive on grass and lots of it- the fields of Can? The town of Canfield was always quaint, with well to do homes like in magazines. The first time at the fair for me was an especially long day, very tired, fell asleep on the way home.
In elementary school, Mom never went on the rides, but Dad rode with me. They loved the hot sausage sandwiches. I ate corn dogs. Fair fries are always the best, so greasy and potato flavor. Always cotton candy to take home.
One year we invited Karen Mays along. That is the year we wore almost the same outfit, but not planned. We were the same height, with long blond hair. People stared, thinking we were twins.
In junior high, older friends of my mother, but my sister's age-funny how that happens sometimes, asked me along. A very wet year ruined a pair of chukka boots as we tramped in the mud. The wife took me through the side shows. The dimly lit tents holding the lobster boy, the man/woman, or woman with a beard. I recoiled that these pictures became flesh and didn't look like the advertisement. My parents always steered me away from this extra attraction and I never had curiosity about the "freaks" before. Darlene talked me into it.
As adults we took Katie once as a toddler, mostly for the animals. I enjoyed the food. No corn dogs this time. I wondered at the draft horses. Mostly though, I relished my daughter's reactions and seeing all the sights that hadn't changed, like the floating faucet, or under the Grandstand and all the broadcasting tents. The boulevards go on in infinity, food booths upon food booths.
We prefer Buhl Day here in Hermitage, a more quiet, family, community day. Buy all the fair food without the freak shows and rides. We have gone a few years to the Great Stoneboro Fair in northern Mercer County.
But Wednesday and today I've been on those back roads around the fair ground. Reading the Vidicator about the fair as in any advertising whets that appetite for an elephant ear, looking at barn loads of animals and Pioneer Village. Yet, the humidity is a drawback. Not sure if we'll make it to Canfield or not. I am sure I'll get an elephant ear,or funnel cake and Penn State Creamery ice cream cone at Buhl Day.
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