142nd Barlow Fair kicks off next week

After 142 years, Ohio’s oldest independent fair is alive and kicking.

The Barlow Fair kicks off at noon Thursday, when judging begins at the fairgrounds just 13 miles from Marietta at the intersection of Ohio 550 and 339.

Thursday’s highlights include judging of the 4-H booths, T-Building, the 5,500-pound class tug pull and the Beef and Dairy Show.

“The Barlow Fair is one of the sweetest fairs anybody could go to,” said Denise Tessum, a member of the fair board in charge of the FFA Building and booths and booths and vendors. She also is part of the entertainment committee.

“It is so old town,” she said. “The midway is as clean as a whistle.”

Returning this year will be Big “O” amusements to handle all the rides and other midway attractions.

“The community just loved them, and we are happy to get them to come back,” Tessum said.

Also new this year is a mechanical bull ride (for the first time Tessum can remember) and a haunted house during the evenings.

Tessum said the fair board decided to operate the fair gates with volunteers from two local nonprofit agencies.

This year, volunteers from RSVP on Thursday and Friday and the Little Hocking Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization on Saturday and Sunday will greet fairgoers as they come onto the grounds.

Entertainment on tap for the run of the fair includes Gypsy Soul on Friday night on the main stage and Matt Enik on Saturday night. The fair wraps up Sunday afternoon with Crossroads Messengers at noon, Kapple Family at 1 p.m. and Keepin’ Time, a dulcimer band, at 2 p.m.

The annual parade will still be at 6 p.m. Friday and lines up in Vincent. It travels north on Ohio 339, turns onto Warrior Drive to pass Warren High School to Barlow, where it turns left onto Ohio 550, through the intersection of Ohio 339 and 550 and into the fairgrounds.

“It’s one of the largest parades in Washington County,” Tessum said. “It’s every bit of two hours. If you enjoy parades, this one should not be missed.”