Cattle shows had been held in a tent for the last 20 years.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- A tent can be a scary place for cattle during a rainstorm. Just ask Fred Bock.
Bock, of Salem, participated in a cattle judging show during a rainstorm at the 2001 Canfield Fair. The show was held in a 4,800-square-foot tent.
Rain falling on a tent can make a loud, deep tapping noise. Winds can shake a tent and startle cattle. "Last year, we went in and the cows went berserk," Bock said.
This year, Bock's cows and other cattle had nothing to fear. The 2002 cattle show was held in the fair's new 10,400-square-foot cattle arena on the south side of the fairgrounds behind the milking parlor.
Bock called the building "101 percent better" than the tent. Other fair participants and fairgoers had similar reactions.
"It's nice; it's real nice," said Bruce Knite as he prepared for Friday's cattle show. Knite, of New Concord, said the arena reminded him of a similar facility at the site of the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
Karen Beatty of Enon Valley, Pa., said she feels the arena adds class to the fair and the cattle programs. Mary Ann Beatty, also of Enon Valley, added that she likes that the building is cleaner than the tent.
"The tent was horrible," Mary Ann said. The Beatty family members are housing their cattle in the new arena during the fair.
Here's the setup
The sides of the new arena are lined with stalls for cattle. In the middle is a large show area with a wooden-chip floor. Aluminum bleachers sit on both sides of the show area.
The metal roof of the arena is held up by wooden crossbeams that give the facility the look of a barn.
Howard Moff, the fair board director responsible for the cattle shows, said the board had been talking about constructing a new arena for several years.
"It's just something that was needed," he said.
Most of the arena construction projects discussed in the past were too costly for the fair board, Moff said. When asked how much the construction of the new arena cost, Moff would only say that the project came in under budget.
Construction of the arena began in May and ended in mid-July.
Moff said the cattle shows were first held in the tent about 20 years ago, after the cattle area moved from the fairground's north side to the south.
The cattle area was moved to create more room for 4-H events on the north side of the fairgrounds, Moff said.
Moff said that since then, both 4-H and the fair's cattle show have continued to grow. He noted that there were about 840 entries in this year's fair cattle shows.
Those entries included cattle raised by Zanesville resident Bill Bates, who said he felt the arena was a nice addition to the fair.
"It's definitely a big improvement," Bates said.