BARLOW - Two-year-old Haley Ash held tightly to the bag of candy she and mom, Denise, had collected as the annual Barlow Fair Parade passed on Warrior Drive Friday afternoon.
"This is the big thing for Barlow," Denise said. "And a lot of people come back to visit during the fair."
"It's the one day that the streets in Barlow become a bit like New York City," added Jan Berry of Vincent, noting the crowds of people lining both sides of Warrior Drive and Ohio 550 along the parade route.
The Warren High School band marches in the Barlow Fair parade.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks watched the procession march onto Ohio 339.
"This has been the best crowd I've seen here in nine years," he said. "And everything is moving along smooth and orderly."
The parade was the official kickoff for this weekend's 139th Barlow Fair. Founded in 1871, the festival is one of Ohio's oldest.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Ron Schultheis of Marietta readies his John Deere for the 5,500 lb. tug pull Friday evening during the 139th annual Barlow Fair.
Gray clouds were gathering west of the fairgrounds at dusk.
Asked if he was concerned that it might rain, fair board treasurer Sid Brackenridge pointed to a phrase on the cover of one of Barlow's earlier fairs.
"The sun always shines on the Barlow Fair," it said.
Barlow Fair schedule
8 a.m.Gates open
Feeder calf show
9 a.m.Mini horse show
10 a.m.Draft horse pull
NoonGarden tractor pull
Little Miss and Mister Barlow pageant (gazebo)
1 p.m.Youth horse show
5:30 p.m.Feeder calf sale
6 p.m.Draft horse and mule show
6:30 p.m.Open hunter-jumper show
7 to 9 p.m.Old S'Kool (main stage)
8:30 p.m.Mini modified tractor pull
8 a.m.Gates open
9 a.m.Open horse show
10 a.m.Church services (gazebo)
NoonTractor pull (13,000 lbs, 11, 000 lbs, 9,500 lbs)
1 p.m.Kiddie tractor pull
2:30 p.m.4-H contest
3 p.m.Out of Time dulcimer band
4 p.m.All exhibits released
Brackenridge noted that, like last year, the 2010 fair started with some early events on Thursday.
"We did a speed tractor pull last night that lasted until 3 a.m.," he said. "Everything is looking good so far, and we're looking forward to a great fair this year."
Brackenridge said some major events slated for Saturday include a mini horse show at 9 a.m. and a draft horse and mule show at 6 p.m.
A mini modified tractor pull is also scheduled at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and a much larger tractor pull (13,000 lbs, 11,000 lbs. and 9,500 lbs.) is set for noon Sunday.
The fair continues today through Sunday at the fairgrounds near the intersection of Ohio 550 and 339.