The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 1, 2013

Great Geauga County Fair continues today in Burton

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

BURTON — Reluctant donkeys were just one of the interesting visual elements at The Great Geauga County Fair on Saturday.

The oldest fair in the state of Ohio hopes to reach 200,000 in attendance by the time the gates close Monday evening, said fair secretary Paul Harris.

Harris said the attendance figures for Friday were higher than last year’s Friday totals by more than 6,000 people. After a slow start on Thursday, the fair is on track for a good weekend if the weather holds up, he said.

“The horse pulls were huge. We had 19 teams,” Harris said of a popular Friday evening event.

Contestants in the donkey jumping event had to convince their burros to take a leap over a steeple chase barrier. The height of the barrier was increased by several inches after each round of the competition.

“We have 86 (people) all together representing 14 families and 26 animals,” said contest coordinator Wendy Nye.

The contests are organized to create a fun environment for families, Nye said. “We have our competitive people, but most just enjoying having something to do with their animals,” she said.

Harris said pig racing has been a big hit and will continue today and Monday on the Midway.

An annual highlight of the fair begins at 1:30 p.m. in front of the main grandstand when hundreds gather to watch the Geauga County high school bands perform, Harris said.

A rooster crowing contest will be held at 4 p.m. and truck and tractor pulls begin at 6 p.m. at the main grandstand.

“You can’t have a fair without a tractor pull,” Harris said.