BARLOW-Falling walnuts clicked and clacked against the building roofs at the Barlow Fairgrounds Thursday as dozens of individuals went about their business in the buildings below-preparing for the annual Barlow Fair.
The walnuts might not be the loudest noise at the bustling fairground, but they always put Vincent resident Suzan Edgell, 39, in the mood for the fair.
“It’s just the atmosphere. The trees are changing. It’s getting cooler,” said Edgell, as she set up the Premier Design Jewelry booth Thursday morning.
“This is the most exciting time of the year,” added pal Terri Dowler, 53, of Veto, who was setting up her Tastefully Simple booth nearby.
The fair officially kicked off Thursday evening with a tractor pull, beef and dairy show and free fair rides for both adults and children.
Throughout the day, fairgoers set up displays, brushed their animals and readied food booths.
From her stall at the end of the horse barn, 15-year-old Sarah Klintworth evaluated her position for watching the tractor pulls.
“I can sit right here on the end and see them, but I might end up going up on the hill,” she said.
Klintworth will be showing her Quarter Horse Bub in Saturday’s horse show.
“He’s trained to do barrels. Hopefully we have a good weekend doing that,” she said.
Always a huge draw is the Barlow Fair Parade, which starts today at 6 p.m. in Vincent. Last year’s Little Miss and Mr. Barlow- Addison Stout and Cameron Bean-will be heading up the line as the parade winds its way down Ohio 339, Warrior Drive and Ohio 550.
“Every year I’m amazed by how many people we get in the parade,” said Barlow Fair Board member Shawn Eifler.
“We get calls starting early August with people asking how they can make sure they have a spot in the parade,” added fair board member Pat Amrine.
This year will also feature many new additions at the fair. A mechanical bull should be a big hit with children and adults alike, said fair board member Denise Tessum.
“The kids haunted house is new. And the proceeds for that go to the New Era School in Mineral Wells,” she said.
The fair board will also be providing shuttle service to anyone who requests it at the gate, she said.
This year will also feature the most vendors in the fair’s history-more than 60, said Tessum.
Florida residents Lannette Hobbs and her husband, who will be selling unique cubic zirconium jewelry, heard about the fair while visiting family in Canton.
“We’re full-time RVers. We travel throughout the country visiting fairs and we found Barlow online,” said Lannette.
In chatting with other vendors, Lannette has heard good things about the fair and was looking forward to mingling and making new friends, she said.
Another big vending addition will be sure to please the hungry masses, said Tessum.
“Kettle Corn will be available for the first time ever,” she explained.
Thinking about the food that would soon be available was enough to get many in the fair spirit Thursday.
“Funnel cakes!” exclaimed 16-year-old Ashley Edgell as those around her voiced their agreement.
Homemade ice cream bars offered by a local church are always a must, added Anita Beeney, who was setting up the flower display Thursday with fellow members of the Barlow Bluebells Garden Club.
Another big draw is the annual feeder calf sale, which takes place Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Vincent resident Melanie Klintworth said she was hopeful that her two sons will place well enough in the show so their cows will be among the first sold. Sons Erik and Austin Klintworth are both players on Warren High School’s football team and will be splitting their time Saturday night.
“We’ve got a home game Saturday and the sale starts at 5:30. Hopefully they’ll sell their cattle and have a police escort to the game,” she joked.