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Farm throws shower for newborn animals

Staff photo / Bob Coupland Max Holland of Salem, left, pets a baby goat on the lap of John James of Beloit at the baby animal shower Saturday at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm in Canfield. Children and adults could see, pet and feed baby animals.

CANFIELD — It was a special day Saturday at the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm as the public had the chance to see baby animals born this spring.

The popular family-fun event has in past years drawn as many as 5,000 visitors who get to see, feed and pet everything from baby pigs, goats, horses, rabbits and peacocks.

Lynn Zocolo, a 20-year educator at the farm, said the annual “baby shower” has been held in the spring since 1992 with a few recent years missed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are back open and have a variety of wonderful baby animals for our visitors to enjoy. This a free event for families. It makes your heart smile when you see the baby animals,” she said.

New this year are tractor and wagon rides around the property and also feeding the animals a small “baby snack” ice cream cone filled with grain for $1.

Zocolo said most of the babies are born in mid-April through May.

She said children like seeing the foal, calves, alpacas, pygmy goats and peacocks.

Helping at the event were 4-H students and Canfield Junior Fair members.

Zocolo said the farm, located across from the Canfield Fairgrounds, is open seven days a week all summer for visitors. Also twice a month in the summer will be tractor and wagon rides that will be 45 minutes around the property and to see the century barn off Leffingwell Road as well as poultry and horse barns.

“There have been some years we get as many as 4,000 to 5,000 people stopping during a four-hour time period,” Zocolo said.

Olivia Griffith of Austintown said her son, Zackary, 1, loves animals, especially horses and cows.

“He is so excited to see the animals, I used to come here when I was little when they held the baby shower event. This is his first time here. The whole family is here,” she said.

Griffith said Zackary’s second birthday will have a barnyard theme.

Frank Lanterman of Austintown, Zackary’s grandfather, said “This is an awesome event. The kids see animals on TV and don’t get to interact with them. This lets them interact with the animals and see them up close.”

Tug and Suzie Sanner of Boardman brought their twin sons, Beau and Keegan, 2, to the event.

“This is the first time for all of us to be here. We want to feed the baby animals,” said Suzie Sanner.

Beau said his favorite animal is the piglets.

Karen Hartman of Canfield had her two children, Bronson, 6, and Kaelyn, 4, at the event.

“We wanted to stop today and see all the baby animals,” she said, noting her children loved the tiny pygmy goats.

Jamie Yohman, community engagement director for Mill Creek MetroParks, said the event is popular every year.

“Baby animals are always a big draw. People just love to see them. The tractor and wagon rides are new. We educate people on the history of the farm and the crops and animals,” she said.

There were long lines of people waiting to get on the wagon ride.

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