Savor our rich agrarian roots at county fair

It’s a sure sign of midsummer when the gates swing wide open for the first of the Mahoning Valley’s annual county agricultural expositions, better known as county fairs.

As the 178th edition of the Trumbull County Fair got underway Tuesday for its six-day run through Sunday, it’s also prime time to celebrate the foundation of the fair — the region’s rich agrarian roots. Residents can also take stock of farming’s proud status as one of the county’s most productive industries today.

Just how big is agriculture in Trumbull County? Data from the 2022 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s census of more than 3,000 U.S. counties sheds some eye-popping and illuminating light:

● The county boasts 945 farms with 113,107 acres of fertile growing fields.

● More than 53,000 acres are harvested for soybeans and corn, the county’s top crops.

● The annual market value for all crops produced and livestock totals a whopping $85.5million, a 53% increase from 2017.

Though the industry has changed and modernized over the years, clearly agriculture remains a critical cog in the county’s economy and culture. That’s why the annual fair, organized by the Trumbull County Agricultural Society and others, provides perfect opportunities for Valley residents to get up close and personal with the fruits (and vegetables and livestock) of the labor of the farming community.

The fair also celebrates the proud history of Trumbull County, once part of the French colony of Canada (New France) and later the center of the Connecticut Western Reserve under the governance of John Trumbull. This year’s exposition will again have a decidedly strong historical flair.

As Vindicator reporter Bob Coupland wrote in a fair preview story in last weekend’s edition, this year the ever-popular Historical Village has added a vintage-style theater for visitors to view in addition to its historic saloon, blacksmith shop, jail, gas station, candy store and a coal mine exhibit, which was added in 2023.

Of course, the Trumbull County Fair in Bazetta also boasts loads of inexpensive family fun, education and entertainment in the here and now. Many tantalizing crowd pleasers are back: traditional fair food fare, dizzying mechanical rides, commercial exhibits and demonstrations, health exhibits, harness races, car races, a tractor pull, a demolition derby, a rough truck show, half-car races, and a concert tonight featuring country artist Julia Neville from Logan, Ohio. And don’t forget the daily grounds attractions, featuring the Circus Incredible and the Wee Wee Pig Races.

So far, weather forecasts indicate a longtime curse of the fair — heavy rain — largely will bypass this year’s run. Except for showers forecast this morning, sunny or partly sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s round out the weather forecast through Sunday.

With great weather and hundreds of family-friendly attractions, the 2024 Trumbull County Fair has so much going for it this week. Here’s hoping it enjoys maximum success and record attendance.



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