Board has big plans for fair this year

Despite funding problems, 4-H activities will be held as usual.



LISBON — The Columbiana County Fair plans to grow as it merges high-tech with traditional fair activities.

The fair dates to 1845 in what was then called New Lisbon.

This year, for the first time, the fair is using the Internet to sell tickets and to allow people to register their entries for the event that runs July 30 through Aug. 5.

There’s a new ticket policy that gives people more options — such as seven tickets, one for each day of the fair, or for seven people at a time on a given day.

Tresa Hall, office manager for the fair, said the response has been good so far.

The fair is offering its first concert in five years with a show by the Povertyneck Hillbillies.

People have also been calling about directions and ordering tickets. Seating will be available on the race track close to the stage.

“It seems they have a lot of local fans,” Hall said.

The fair is offering a rodeo this year and will have coloring books for children.

New board member

But there’s also an emphasis on expanding traditional activities.

Gerri Booth of East Liverpool is a new board member who is a certified fair executive, approved by the International Association of Fairs. She’s run major shows in Pennsylvania with 1,200 exhibitors and 7,000 exhibits.

She said she has moved to Columbiana County and made its fair her home fair. For city folks, that means a serious commitment to the fair.

She works in the area of arts and crafts, such as quilting, baking and canning, which are a large part of the fair.

Booth wants to highlight different activities in those areas each day and teach people how to do them. And, she said, she wants to promote interest in those activities to the point where people say, “Gee, I want to see what’s at the fair.”

Booth added that the programs will expand in the next few years.

The county commissioners have slashed funding to the Cooperative Extension Agency that runs the county’s 4-H program. But supporters raised funds through a variety of activities.

Hall said sales of raffle tickets were slow for a “Grandstand” quilt depicting fair scenes. But the quilt will be on display and at the arts and crafts building. Tickets will be available.

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