Columbiana fair celebrates county’s deep agrarian roots

As July morphs into August in the Mahoning Valley, tradition dictates that the gates will swing open to the Columbiana County Fair in Lisbon. It’s a tradition that begins its 173rd year on Monday and one well worthy of respect, celebration and support.

The Columbiana County agricultural exposition is sandwiched in between the early July Trumbull County Fair and the late August Canfield Fair in Mahoning County. As such, it can be overshadowed among some in the Valley by the larger fairs of its more urban neighbors to the north. It should not be.

As a fair tradition, it takes the cake for longevity, ranking ever-so-slightly ahead of both the Trumbull and Canfield fairs.

As a representation of countywide agricultural might – the foundation of any such fair – the blue ribbon goes to Columbiana County. According to the most recent U.S. Census of Agriculture, Columbiana County boasts 1,045 farms, nearly double the 578 in Mahoning County.

Its market value of all crops produced annually stands at a whopping $99.2 million, $33 million more than produced in Trumbull County.

At this year’s fair, which opens Monday and runs through Aug. 5, residents throughout the Valley can get close-up looks of farming’s proud status as one of the most productive industries today in Columbiana County in particular and our region in general.

The fair, at the 90-acre plus fairgrounds on Lee Avenue in Lisbon, is noted for its tradition of providing a wide swath of fun and entertainment for its visitors.

This year is no exception.

Grandstand events, most of which are included with the cost of admission, offer a potpourri of fair fan favorites.

Among them are harness racing, a truck and tractor pull extravaganza, a cow cup challenge, Northern Comfort concert, mutton busting, bull riding and barrel racing, a combine demolition derby and a car demolition derby.


Then there’s the traditional grab bag of fair delights, including dizzying thrill rides, tantalizing food fare, commercial exhibits, health expositions and more.

The fair provides all of those attractions and more for a price that is sure to please most families. Gate admission, which includes mechanical rides, is $6 for adults weekdays until 3 p.m. and $8 after 3 and on weekends. On Tuesday, seniors 62 and over and veterans get in free.

While we support and respect all of our county fairs in the Mahoning Valley, the unique and slightly more rural flavor of the Columbiana County exposition is well worth the drive.

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