By Elise Franco
Fair board members declared the 166th Canfield Fair another success.
Over the first five days of the fair, 246,372 people walked through the gates — 13,262 more than in the first five days in 2011, said Timm Schreiber, fair board member.
Schreiber said attendance was up every day this year over last year. He attributes that to mostly good weather.
“We were blessed not to get the predicted rain from Hurricane Isaac,” he said.
Monday’s attendance totals weren’t available before 11 p.m., but Schreiber said the stream of people through the gates was steady.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we came in ahead of last year’s Monday total,” he said.
Chuck Booth, fair board president, said the fair’s opening day was the highest attended Wednesday in eight years.
And while attendance totals and vendor sales are certainly a way to measure the fair’s success, Booth said the board is most happy when its patrons are happy.
“If fairgoers are happy and enjoying their experience at the fair, it’s a success,” Booth said. “Were trying to make it a nice fair for them.”
Booth said the most important thing is to keep the fair true to its roots.
“We try to keep the tradition of agriculture and farming alive,” he said. “We encourage the new technology and embrace it, but our true core is a traditional fair.”
Booth said patrons return year after year because they know and like what they’re going to get when they walk through the gates.
“People know when they come back, what it’s going to be,” he said. “I think that’s really the success of it.”
Tiffany and Nick Stanek are former Canfield residents who live in Alliance. Tiffany Stanek said the tradition is why they return even after moving out of town. She said it’s the reason they now bring their children, Landon, 4, and Alyssa, 2.
“We come for the food, music and animals, and we always have a good time,” she said.
Stanek said the fair is a draw for a number of reasons: “The size of it, there’s no cost for parking, and it’s run very well.”
Her husband, Nick, added, “It’s also got historic value.”