COLUMBIANA Annual street fair gets under way with parade

Fair weekend is like a homecoming in Columbiana, the manager says.
COLUMBIANA -- Tents, rides, games and lots of food will be the fare this weekend at the 119th annual Columbiana Street Fair.
"People say we're the state fair of street fairs," said fair manager Dave Reash, noting that Columbiana's is one of area's few remaining street fairs.
"It's just like a big homecoming for people around Columbiana. A lot of people plan reunions around the fair," Reash said.
The annual end-of-summer event is sponsored by the American Legion Post 290. Hours are 5:30-11:30 p.m. today and Friday, and noon to midnight Saturday.
Reash said the forecast is for good weather, so he is expecting solid attendance this year. The fair typically draws between 20,000 and 30,000 people over three days, he said.
Today's main event will be a parade at 6:30 p.m., Reash said. It will leave from Firestone Park, head west on East Park Avenue to the city square, then move north on Main Street to Herbster Street.
Reash said he expects between 200 and 300 units in the parade.
Children's treat
On Friday, area special-needs children will be treated to the fair before it is opened to the public. Rides will be slowed down so the children can ride them, and the American Legion will provide the children with food.
"That's something we do every year. The kids love it," Reash said. Last year, about 150 special-needs children attended.
Other attractions will include an annual rose show, a tent filled with displays from area vendors and artisans, and plenty of food for sale.
Free parking will be available at Firestone Park, from which free shuttles will carry visitors to the square.

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