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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 7/31/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Wood County hosts 140th fair

Summertime tradition seen drawing 100,000

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The rides are a big draw at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, which  runs through Aug. 4. The rides are a big draw at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, which runs through Aug. 4.
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BOWLING GREEN — Puzzled by the long-necked animal, 2-year-old Bennett Crosser guessed .... giraffe, camel.

Alpaca, actually.

Babyland at the Wood County Fair can be a confusing place. Is that a goat or a calf? Duck or chicken?

Education is one facet of the fair, a fun-filled, deep-fried thrill ride, a super-sized summertime tradition served with sides of flower shows, tractor pulls, giddy-up go. And much, much more.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view slideshow.

Carol Crist of McComb watched Wednesday as grandson Bennett of Findlay went nose to snout with a pig in the barn with fenced-in young animals.

Some kids stood stock still in front of a birthing center of sorts. An egg shell cracked open. A beak poked out. What’s happening? curious youngsters asked. Breakfast food, not chicks, emerge from eggs at their houses.

Alicyn McClish, 15, a member of Eastwood FFA that hosts Babyland, was on duty, watching for rule breakers, such as children who try to get inside pens.

An estimated 100,000 people will attend the fair in Bowling Green that began Monday. Wood County is marking its 140th annual fair this year.

Hannah Lang, 10, of Luckey shows her crossbreed Angus, Marshmellow. Hannah Lang, 10, of Luckey shows her crossbreed Angus, Marshmellow.
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Richard King, fair manager who lives near Risingsun, said the fair, which ends Monday, is popular for many reasons, including its food and its great line up of entertainment.

By midday, the place was cookin’. And as scream machines cranked up the crowds, the air was filled with the very flair of a fair.

Children, running hard to stay ahead of the end of summer, darted like startled sheep. From tent to tent, the kids went, scooping up freebies, including fly swatters used to whack siblings and annoy parents.

Waiting lines curved around food stands. Customers balanced sandwiches while squirting ketchup on piles of fries. For dessert: deep-fried cookies and candy bars.

Frozen lemonade is the favorite of Alyssa Sockman, 11, of Bowling Green, who visited the fair with 30 children from Dunn’s Kiddie Kare in Bowling Green. Alyssa said she loves the fair because of the animals and the food. In the fine arts building, the children explored exhibits of award-winning entries.

“We spend the morning taking in the sights and sounds. Then the kids come back with their parents to eat fair food and ride the rides,” said Susie Dunn, Kiddie Kare administrator.

At a nearby food stand, Eric Rine, 13, and Evan Trantham, 14, both of Bowling Green and members of Boy Scouts Troop 358, prepped sweet corn for roasting, and then, when customers place their orders, for dipping into a vat of melted butter. “Some don’t want butter. It’s kind of shocking,” Evan said.

Nathan Spencer, 17, of Rudolph entered his Nubian goat, Mystro, in the pet class and obstacle competition. Nathan Spencer, 17, of Rudolph entered his Nubian goat, Mystro, in the pet class and obstacle competition.
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Chicken noodle soup and homemade pies are top sellers at a food stand that raises money for Rudolph’s community building and ball park, said Leah Jenne of Rudolph. “We have one of the best fairs in Ohio and I’m not kidding about that,” she said. Kitchen help includes Robin Digby of Bowling Green, a first-time volunteer. She’s having a blast. She doles out food and smiles. “I have to get those smiles,” she said.

In a livestock barn, a frown clouded the face of Garrett Germann, 12, of Bowling Green as he hauled out manure.

In spite of the smelly chores, the 4-H member said he likes the livestock business, and wants to raise Holsteins when he grows up.

He raised the two Holsteins, Sundae and Oreo, that he showed Wednesday. He plans to sell them after the fair.

He stroked Sundae, a well-groomed, 647-pound animal, as though he was petting his faithful fido. With tear-tugging words, he vocalized the visible: “It will be hard to give them up.”

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com or 419-724-6006.



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