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Rain or shine, the fair offers fun



Published: Sun, July 8, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

Construction projects have been postponed until after this

summer’s county fair.

By MAYSOON ABDELRASUL

TRUMBULL VINDICATOR STAFF

BAZETTA — Get ready for those fresh-cut french fries and hot funnel cakes.

All sorts of gastronomic guilty pleasures can be found at the 161st annual Trumbull County Fair. So can critters of all shapes and sizes, car and beauty pageants.

Horse shows, too. But this year there will be no horse races.

Fair board President Richard Roscoe is hoping for fine weather this year — read that as no rain — so fairgoers can enjoy more than 300 vendors, the sights, sounds and smells.

Last year, 3.5 inches of rain drenched fairgoers and Roscoe said attendance was down by 2,000 from the previous year.

About 120,000 people attended the fair last year, and half were paid admissions. Roscoe said every year only half of the attendees pay — because many residents participate in the fair and get in for free.

This year, admission is $7 and includes rides and shows at the grandstand.

Popular fair events

School bus races will be held Tuesday night at the grandstand. Roscoe said these are old school buses with the seats torn out and the windows removed, tearing around the track.

“It’s something to see,” Roscoe said.

Auto races are Wednesday evening and these fill the grandstand every year, he added. “Motors, noise and smoke. That’s what Trumbull County fairgoers want.”

This year, the fair board has decided to do away with the horse races because these do not attract many people, and those that do attend are the ones that own the racers and get in free. Roscoe thought he would hear a lot of complaints about not having these races; only six people called.

The fourth annual Miss Trumbull County Fair Pageant is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Roscoe Bros. Inc. of Gustavus and Custom Counter Top of Cortland will be awarding the first place winner a $1,000 savings bond. Second place gets a $100 gift certificate and third place gets a $50 gift certificate.

Budget and construction

The fair board’s budget is $687,000 and Roscoe said all of it will be used for the fair. If the weather cooperates, he said the board can clear $100,000.

Roscoe said he was concerned about some nearby road construction projects that could cause delays for fairgoers or even turn away patrons. He said the construction would really hurt the fair’s business.

“The week of the fair is my life,” he said.

After putting in 16 calls, Roscoe finally found his answer to the construction problem on state Route 305. Randy Smith of the Trumbull County engineer’s office said he would look into a way for the construction to be postponed to the week after the fair, instead of fair week.

Roscoe said that took a load off his mind. But he still has no power over the weather. He’s prepared just in case it does rain.

If it rains

Free shuttling will be provided in case of excessive rain. Cars can be parked at the Trumbull County Career & Technical Center on state Route 45, and buses will be running every 15 minutes if rain hits.

Also, Roscoe said he has a sign prepared saying the fair is not responsible for pulling cars out of the mud. Last year eight claims were filed saying cars were damaged by people pulling them out of the mud.

“I learned from last year, and I am prepared to hang up the sign in case it rains,” Roscoe said.

Roscoe was the fair board president in 1981, and he said tickets then were $5 and that was the best paid crowd with 86,200. He said if it doesn’t rain this year he expects to break 86,000.

He has been on the fair board for 30 years and has served as president for eight. In 1981 he said he hired the country band Alabama at $5,500 and the contract was signed in February. As the fair approached, Alabama’s appearances were worth $55,000.


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