Program aims to teach about county fair

LISBON – Every year thousands of people walk the midway and stroll through the barns of the Columbiana County Fair. But how many know when the fair was established, or what breed the cow is that they just petted?

Well, the junior fair board has found a way to not only answer these questions but many other questions fairgoers may have with the Hay! Let’s Learn About the Fair program.

According to Hannah Jarvis, junior fair board president and program chairman, the board learned about the program while attending the 2013 Ohio Fair Managers Association convention. The convention allows fair boards and junior fair boards from across the state to meet, share ideas and see what musical acts are available.

Among those ideas was a program conducted at the fairs in Clark and Adams counties. The program provided fairgoers a chance to learn about their fair and some of the projects on display.

Jarvis said she and fellow board members became interested in the program and attempted to get it off the ground for the 2013 fair but ran out of time. One year later, the junior fair board is ready and will begin placing the signs on Saturday.

Hay! Let’s Learn About the Fair is described by Jarvis as a program the involves children, parents, and people of all ages reading signs around the fairgrounds. As people progress around the fairgrounds, they fill out a simple questionnaire based on the sign information. These signs include information about the animals, items in the building or its purpose.

“By doing this program, we hope to teach kids about the fair and the projects, programs and animals that are involved in it,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis who is a nine-year member of Lone Rangers 4-H Club also learned a few things while creating the signs.

“I learned when the first camera was invented,” said Jarvis.

It is the junior fair board’s goal to keep the program going and expand it over the years.

Hay! Let’s Learn About the Fair officially kicks off on Monday and those wishing to participate should visit the junior fair building. There, board members will be available to answer questions, provide maps and accept completed questionnaires. Each sign, 18 in all, will be numbered to coincide with the map.

Children who take part will receive some candy and will be entered into a drawing. The winner will be chosen on Aug. 3 at the conclusion of the fair.