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Rides, free shows planned as part of 2020 Canfield Fair

CANFIELD — Rides and free grandstand entertainment are planned at this year’s Canfield Fair.

“At this point, it is still a go,” said Canfield Fair Board President Ward Campbell about the 174th edition of the fair.

“We are working hard and fully expect to have a fair this year. It won’t be normal, but it will be as close as we can get.”

One problem area involved the grandstand entertainment. National performers and tractor pulls are not on the menu for 2020, but not all is lost. Campbell said the fair board is talking with the demolition derby organizers to see if something can be worked out.

“At this point, I can say we will have an entertainer,” he said. “Local country-western singer A.C. Jones will perform on the concourse and possibly in the grandstand in what could end up as a free show.”

As for thrill rides, Ward said the company (Reithoffer Shows of Gibsonton, Fla.) that brings the rides will be at the West Virginia State Fair the week before and is ready to head to Canfield to set up immediately afterward.

“We’ve been in touch with the ride company, and they claim to have a fogger machine to disinfect rides,” Campbell said.

He said there was talk of limited or cutting down the number of rides, but that could backfire and make for longer lines. He said the company is willing to work with the local board of health.

As for concessions, preliminary plans call for spacing them farther apart from one another. He said if a concessionaire chooses not to come this year, the fair board will not try to fill the vacant spot, but instead space the existing concessions out more.

One area that will see a change involves the people movers, the tractor-pulled wagons, that transport people around the grounds. He said those could be doubled, and each will move with just a half-load.

Even the Western Reserve Village will see a change from the norm. The free entertainment at the railroad station will not take place this year, nor will the model train display. The historic structures will be open only for one-way traffic in buildings that have an exit and entrance. The buildings without both will be closed off for fair-goers.

Campbell said everything that can be done is being done to bring a fair to Mahoning County this year. He said a lot of hand sanitizers have been purchased for placement around the grounds, and the company that handles the restrooms will be doing extra cleaning. In the end, it will all come down to the fair-goers.

“We’re going to depend on signage and people respecting one another,” Campbell said.

jtwhitehouse@tribtoday.com

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