EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – It was a beautiful day for the East Palestine Street Fair on Friday, about three and a half months since the train derailment. The village is looking for some normalcy and they were able to get it with their yearly tradition.
For over 100 years, residents of East Palestine and surrounding communities have shown up to the village’s street fair for rides, games, and traditional fair food.
Member of the East Palestine Alumni Association Roger Linsley explained how diverse the crowds were this year.
“Although I’ve lived here most of my life, most of the people down here, I don’t even recognize. They’re coming in from Columbiana, New Waterford, Rogers, Negley, East Liverpool,” Linsley said.
The secretary of East Palestine’s Chamber of Commerce, Roberta Brittain, was at the fair to help with the event.
“We have games, prizes, food vendors, a lot of rides, a lot of blow-up rides, we have live bands every night,” Brittain explained.
With the train derailment months ago, the street fair hopes to bring residents together after the disaster.
“People genuinely enjoy it, so they’re always looking forward to it. Like when COVID shut down everything, we couldn’t have our street fair and now that it’s back, they’re happy to see it,” Brittain expressed.
Outside of what you would expect to see at any fair, tables were set up for different reasons. For the Chamber of Commerce, they are selling tickets for a raffle.
“There’s 26 chances for $10. Tonight, we’re raffling off $500, and tomorrow night, the big night is $5,000,” Brittain said.
There was also a rubber duck race that was dedicated to providing education for those who need it.
“To provide scholarships to graduating seniors, either for a four-year school, two-year or a trade school, in the amount of $1,000 each. This year, we gave away 12 scholarships,” Linsley said.
While the East Palestine Street Fair does come around every year, this year is a little bit more significant in returning to normalcy just three and a half months after the train derailment.
“If you take a look at the number of kids, Northfolk Southern is paying for the rides so kids don’t have to pay anything. So it works out real well,” Linsley said.
It started on Wednesday and runs until Saturday. On Friday, the fair will open at 5 p.m. and last until 10 p.m. On Saturday, the fair will have expanded hours, opening at 1 p.m. until 11 p.m.
For more information, you can visit the East Palestine Chamber of Commerce’s website here.