My home county fair ended Thursday — the Wayne County Fair in Wooster.

It’s a great fair, billed as one of Ohio’s largest junior fairs with the most junior fair exhibits. And it’s also known as “the foremost agricultural fair.”

I made it to the Wayne County Fair twice this year and had a good time on both trips. But I must say, getting to cover a half-dozen other fairs has really shown me that we’re not the only highlight.

I love Wayne County and my roots here run deep, but it’s been good the past few weeks to branch out and see the work going on in other counties, as well.

In Stark County, for example, the total junior fair auction grossed nearly $730,000. That’s good enough for another state record — about the seventh in a row. And some of the individual lots set new records — many with the help of multiple buyers who teamed together.

In Portage County, you’re not going to see the state’s largest fair, but you can bet on seeing a clean fair that’s entertaining, educational and well-organized.

The livestock auctions at both of these fairs are run by Kiko Auctioneers, and the results they get are impressive.

Antiques displays

One of my favorite area fairs is the Lorain County Fair, which holds an annual combine derby and a great display of antiques and livestock exhibits.

Talking about antiques, it’s hard to beat the massive ag museum at the Knox County Fair in Mount Vernon. That’s a must-see exhibit, even during the hot month of July. The building has been expanded several times to accommodate the huge display, and I think part of it may even be air conditioned.

A couple fairs I want to see sometime are the Great Geauga County Fair and the Great Darke County Fair. I’d like to know if they’re as “great” as the title implies, but I imagine they must be.

Different focus

One of the best thing about getting to see so many different fairs is seeing how they each highlight their own county. Here in Wayne County, we have a lot of livestock, especially dairy cattle, and consequently there’s a big display of dairy cattle.

In some of the urban fairs, they have more of the small-animal projects, and still projects, but those things are enjoyable as well.

Living in Wayne County, there are times when it almost sounds like we invented the fair. But as good as our fair is, there are many others doing it right, as well.

I appreciate when our local fair leadership visits these other fairs, because there are many lessons to be learned and ideas to be shared.

Your favorites?

What are your thoughts? Did you make it to Ohio’s largest junior fair? Which fairs did you attend this year?

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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