Morning downpours gave way to blue skies and sunshine by noon as the 2012 Washington County Fair continued into its second day Sunday, but heavy rains overnight forced cancellation of the annual harness racing event at the grandstands.
"The track was too wet because it rained all night, so we had to cancel the harness racing," said Bonnie Gill, one of this year's fair board directors.
She said Saturday night rains also impacted the hot class truck and tractor pull.
"We were able to get about 90 percent of the pulls done," Gill said. "But we had to cancel some of the last classes of the diesel and semi truck pulls around midnight because it was raining so hard."
Approximately 5,000 people attended the fair Saturday.
"That's not too bad, but we're hoping the grandstands will be packed for the Buckeye Rodeo-that's our big event tonight," Gill said Sunday afternoon.
She noted the rodeo, a sanctioned circuit event, usually goes on rain or shine, as long as there's no thunder and lightning over the grandstands.
"The cowboys and cowgirls ride for points and money, so that event generally has to go on," Gill said.
Sunday afternoon's sunny weather brought hundreds of fairgoers onto the midway where Deshler Amusements provided an array of carnival rides for young and old alike.
"There was some rain Saturday, but we only closed the rides for about 45 minutes, and the crowds came right back. With the sunshine we're expecting a great day today," Deshler employee Randy Adams said Sunday.
Jones of New Matamoras stood in line with his uncle, Jeff Jones from Reno, as they waited to board the Paratrooper ride Sunday afternoon.
"It goes round and round really fast," Damyan said. "Sometimes I get kind of dizzy."
Jeff said he brings his nephew to the fair every year, but admitted going "round and round" didn't make the Paratrooper his favorite ride.
Vanessa Jackson, from Sutton, W.Va., brought children Hannah Jackson, 5, Emily Jackson, 3, and their friend, 2-year-old Micah Moore, to the county fair Sunday.
"I'm originally from Gilmer County (W.Va.)," Vanessa said, noting she came to the Washington County Fair every year when she was young.
"It was a lot of fun-usually because of the rides," she said. "I wanted to ride all of them."
Fair food also seemed to be a big hit Sunday afternoon.
"The Bob Evans sausage sandwiches seem to be the most popular," said Dan Strecker, a member of the Marietta Civitan Club.
Working with the Pioneer Ladies Civitan, the club members serve breakfast, lunch and dinner from their tent located just off the midway.
"We usually start serving breakfast around 7 a.m., and get crowds for lunch and dinner, but we also get a lot of business right after the grandstand shows," said Civitan member Mike Siddell.
Nearby the Washington County Farm Bureau was also offering three meals a day.
"Our sausage is made from hogs sold at the Waterford Fair, but we're also beef people here and sell a lot of hamburgers and cheeseburgers," said Jodi Rauch with the farm bureau.
But she added that one of the group's favorite dishes is neither pork nor beef.
"Our chicken and noodles sell really well-people seem to especially like them for dinner," Rauch said.
For those who enjoy more traditional fair foods, corndogs, elephant ears, peanuts and candy apples are also abundantly available from a variety of vendors.
Mary Miller of Steubenville was manning the Miller's Peanuts cart for her husband, George Miller, who had to stay home Sunday afternoon.
"We've been coming to this fair for 60 years now," she said. "People tell us how good our peanuts are. But I like to think they just taste a lot better at the fair."