By EMMALEE C. TORISK
This year is Craig L. Myers’ first as fair-board president, but it’s certainly not his first at the Canfield Fair.
He’s been on the board for a dozen years, and his father was involved long before that.
Myers said it’s safe to say that he’s never missed a year. He still struggles to pick just one favorite part.
“I’m like a little boy. I love the fair,” he explained. “Every year, you anticipate going to the fair and having that first sausage sandwich or hot dog or hoagie or Molnar’s cinnamon roll.”
Even now, almost three weeks before the 168th Canfield Fair’s Aug. 27 opening day, the Canfield Fairgrounds are a flurry of activity, Myers noted. Crews are busy readying the fair’s 353 acres — 178 acres of midway, 175 acres of parking — for the more than 300,000 people who are expected to attend.
Getting ready for the Canfield Fair is tantamount to building a small city, albeit one that is torn down each year. As such, it requires “all the services that a city has.”
“There’s always something that needs to be fixed or repaired or improved,” Myers said.
He added that the process typically runs smoothly, thanks to all of those paid and unpaid workers who “take ownership of it,” because they want to help ensure the fair’s success.
Bev Fisher, fair manager, said the fair’s buildings and grounds are being prepared. Buildings are being swept out in anticipation of the myriad exhibits that will soon fill them, while driveways are being leveled and row markers are being placed in the parking area. This work commenced in full force Monday, after the Steel Valley Cluster Dog Show ended, and will continue until Aug. 21, when vendors can begin setting up.
Fisher added that the fair board has been able to stay caught up with pre-fair maintenance work despite some inclement weather in recent weeks. She said, too, that some more substantial building work also has taken place over the summer.
For one, the souvenir stand at the north end of the fairgrounds has a new roof. The Colonial Inn, where volunteers from the Austintown Community Church serve meals, has a new floor. Even the medical building underwent some electrical upgrades.
Soon, Fisher noted, fair board members will only be worried about “fine tuning” the fairgrounds, or making sure that everything is set for the Canfield Fair, which runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.
The deadline for most entry registration forms and fees for the Canfield Fair is Sunday.
“I just think everybody needs to come out and see what we have to offer,” said Fisher, who has been involved with the fair for 24 years. “It truly is everybody’s fair.”