CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – With three months to go before the ribbon is cut for the 175th edition of the Canfield Fair, directors literally unveiled this year’s list of grandstand attractions on Monday, looking to put 2020’s downsized version behind them. They say it’s crucial to get back to normal.
With restrictions because of COVID-19 being lifted in Ohio now, organizers of the annual Canfield Fair are hoping to see a return to the huge crowds we’ve come to expect each year.
“You just do the best you can and that’s what we’ve been doing. Kept our fingers crossed the whole time,” said George Roman, a member of the Canfield Fair Board.
Grammy-winning country star Darius Rucker will perform on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Grandstand.
Shinedown, the American rock group with the most #1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, will then take the stage on Monday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.
But, directors had to wait to get the go-ahead from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to even hold the fair.
“Me, myself, I was not sure it was ever gonna come, you know? We needed full capacity in order to be able to do this,” said Eric Ryan, promotions for JAC Live.
Last year there were no shows, just some racing and a Junior Fair because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and very few people on the grounds.
Directors say that typically, the fair generates $5-6 million for the local economy during its six-day run, but last year, they lost nearly half a million.
“That hurt a lot of our smaller local organizations that tried to make everything work,” Roman said.
Directors also admit fairgoers may not see as many vendors and concessionaires as they have in the past — roughly 10 percent of the normal 700 that fill the midway won’t be returning this year.
“They’re very important to us and some of them have retired and the next generation has not taken over too, and that’s part of the problem also,” said Dave Dickey, a member of the Canfield Fair Board.
Still, directors are hoping the lure of big-name entertainment and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions will give people reason enough to go to the fair and give organizers “something to crow about.”
Pre-sale tickets will be available online for both shows from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 10 p.m. Thursday with the password: CROW.
Tickets will officially go one sale Friday at ticketmaster.com.
No tickets will be sold at the Canfield Fair Box Office until later this summer.
The Canfield Fair is also bringing back its Demolition Derby on Friday, Sept. 3 and the Canfield Fair Championship Tractor Pull on Saturday, Sept. 4.