LIMA, Ohio - County fairs in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are built on traditions that stretch back decades.
Year after year, fair-goers return to tour animal exhibits, enjoy carnival rides, munch on cotton candy and corn dogs, and watch children perform at talent contests and show farm animals.
Fairs thrive because they offer a variety of affordable, family-oriented entertainment, said Jay Begg, manager of the Allen County Fair, scheduled for Aug. 16-24
This year, all 88 counties in Ohio will conduct fairs, starting in mid-June and running through early October. In addition, seven independent agricultural fairs are scheduled, including the Attica Independent Fair in Seneca County Aug. 7 to 11.
The Ohio State Fair in Columbus is scheduled Aug. 2-18.
The 2002 fair season will begin in the region June 25, when the Putnam County Fair opens in Ottawa. In southeast Michigan, the Hillsdale County Fair will close the regional fair season in late September.
Here's the 2002 county fair lineup for the region:
OHIOAllen County: Aug. 16-24 at the fairgrounds, 2750 Harding Hwy., east of Lima. From I-75, take exit 125A and go one mile east on Harding Highway (State Rt. 309).Defiance County: Aug. 17-24 at the South Main Street fairgrounds in Hicksville.Erie County: Aug. 6-11 on Columbus Street south of Sandusky in Perkins Township. Take State Rt. 2 to the State Rt. 250 exit and follow signs.Fulton County: Aug. 30-Sept. 5, at the fairgrounds on State Rt. 108 at Exit 34 of the Ohio Turnpike, two miles north of Wauseon.Hancock County: Aug. 28-Sept. 2. Take I-75, exit at State Rt. 12, and follow signs to 1017 East Sandusky St. at the southeast corner of Findlay.Hardin County: Sept. 3-8 at the fairgrounds at 14134 County Road 140, south of Kenton.Henry County: Aug. 9-15 at 907 Perry St. (State Rt. 108) on the south side of Napoleon.Huron County: Aug. 11-17 at the fairgrounds, 940 Fair Rd., Norwalk.Lucas County: July 22-28 at the fairgrounds, 1406 Key St., Maumee.Ottawa County: July 15-21 at the fairgrounds, 7870 West Harbor Rd. (State Rt. 163), east of Oak Harbor.Paulding County: July 8-14 at the fairgrounds on Fairgrounds Drive, Paulding.Putnam County: June 25-30 at 1490 East Second St., Ottawa, off U.S. 224.Sandusky County: Aug. 20-25 at the fairgrounds, Rawson Avenue, Fremont. Take the U.S. 20 bypass, exit at Rawson Avenue, and go south.Seneca County: July 22-29 at the fairgrounds, 100 Hopewell Ave., Tiffin. Take State Rt. 53 south to Euclid and turn right.Van Wert County: Aug. 28-Sept. 4 at the fairgrounds, 1055 South Washington St., Van Wert. Take I-75 south to U.S. 30, head west to State Rt. 127, and go south.Williams County: Sept. 7-14 on Main Street, Montpelier. Take the Ohio Turnpike west to Exit 13, go south two miles on State Rt. 15, and turn west on State Rt. 107 to the fairgrounds.Wood County: July 29-Aug. 5 at the fairgrounds, 13800 West Poe Rd., Bowling Green. Take U.S. 25 south to Mercer Road and go west to State Rt. 64.Wyandot County: Sept. 10-15 in Upper Sandusky. The fairgrounds is on the north side of town on State Rt. 53.
MICHIGANMonroe County: July 28-Aug. 3 at the fairgrounds at Raisinville Road and M-50, west of Monroe.Lenawee County: Aug. 11-17 at the fairgrounds, 602 North Dean St., in Adrian.Hillsdale County: Sept. 22-28 at the fairgrounds on M-99 at the southeast corner of Hillsdale.