Wednesday marked the second day of the 164th Stark County Fair. Festivities continue Thursday when the fairgrounds open at 8 a.m.
Wednesday marked the second day of the 164th Stark County Fair. Festivities continue today when the fairgrounds open at 8 a.m., and the Oak Ridge Boys will give their 40th anniversary tour concert at 8 p.m. The fair runs through Monday.
Here's some observations from Wednesday.
A NEW MACHINE
The championship seniors bingo game was about to begin, and the prize at stake was $32.
"Are we ready?" Don Miller, of East Sparta, asked the crowd of those 55 and older. "Here we go."
As Miller called out "B-10! N-41! N-42!" the numbers lit up on a bright blue bingo machine displayed for the audience — one Miller refurbished himself, just for the fair.
The board was set to be auctioned off by the county, until a friend of Miller's spotted it. Stark County Commissioner Thomas Bernabei agreed to give Miller the machine, Miller's wife, Barbara Miller, said. It made its first appearance at the fair this year.
As her husband announced numbers, Barbara Miller retrieved a cardboard box full of the old bingo supplies — a small hopper full of balls and a plastic tray to set them in after the numbers were called. Before, she said, people just had to listen carefully. But now, they could see what had already been read off.
Don Miller sang out, "B-6!" and a voice in the crowd hollered, "bingo!"
Roy Johnson, 72, of Canton, had the lucky card. And he had big plans for his winnings.
"I'll figure a way to spend it here," Johnson said, trailing off into laughter.
'HE'S NOT WALKING'
Mike the goat wasn't having it.
Trenton Garner, 10, yanked on the animal's collar while his dad, Tim Garner, pushed the goat from behind, as they tried to move the eight-month-old from the barn to the show ring. Mike dug his heels into the ground and sounded a series of angry bleats as his owners wrangled him inside.
He doesn't like to move when it's hot, Tim Garner, from the Alliance area, explained.
Trenton nodded as he said the goat is stubborn, all the while keeping a death grip on the animal's black nylon collar.
He's been working with Mike for about six months and was carting him to a showmanship class Wednesday afternoon.
As Trenton took a break to talk, Mike stopped screaming and started sniffing Trenton's jeans — giving the impression he was actually a calm animal.
"That's 'cause he's not walking," Trenton said.
'PRETTY DOGGONE GOOD'
Before Dave Huggins could make cornmeal, he needed to get his 77-year-old tractor running.
Huggins, of Canton Township, had his 14-year-old grandson atop the red McCormick Deering Farmall tractor as he hooked up a belt from it to the nearby stone mill.
Huggins pointed to the black funnel on the mill and explained that's where the kernels go. He regulates the flow, and then two stones in the machine crush the corn. The closer they are together, the finer the final powder.
The stone mill was sold by Sears-Roebuck in 1923, and it needed the tractor to work.
But Huggins wasn't worried about getting the circa-1936 tractor to power up.
"It starts pretty doggone good," he said.
The Poling sisters and their friend got to miss school to be at the fair, but they weren't going to skip volleyball practice.
The three girls — dressed in a uniform of cowboy boots, T-shirts and denim shorts, bumped a volleyball back and forth in a circle outside the horticulture barn, passing time after showing their short-haired rabbits.
Hailey Poling, 12, of Lake Township, and Averie Elsass, 14, of Jackson Township, were planning on leaving soon because they both had volleyball games to get to. But Elsass guessed she'd come back afterward, though, and stick around until midnight.