Blogs > N-H Media Lab and Archive

Following the happenings of The News-Herald Community Media Lab, as well as the library and archive, where we're digging to find historic people, places, events and things to see how much the times have changed or how much they have stayed the same.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looking back: The Great Geauga County Fair

Ohio's oldest fair opens today for its 188th year and runs through Monday. The Great Geauga County Fair first took place in 1823. What was different about the fair back then? It took place in Chardon and lasted just one day. You can read more about the fair's history at

The fair now takes place annually during Labor Day weekend at the Geauga County Fairgrounds, which are located at 14373 North Cheshire St. in Burton.

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Click here for information on hours and admission for this year's fair.

I took a look through The News-Herald's archives to look for some more recent history on the fair.

The Chicken Flying Contest is either one of the most popular events at the fair, or just one of the most photographable. In looking through clippings from the past 30 years, I found several stories and images from the contest. I liked this clipping with the color photos best. Click the image below to read the Aug. 30, 1985, story by Staff Writer Deborah Winston:

In 1987, a pair of 1,600-pound draft horses trampled two cars and injured three people when they were frightened by another horse-drawn cart. Click the image below to read the story by Staff Writer Emery P. Dalesio:

Intense thunderstorms ruined the first day of the fair in 1992. The circus and demolition derby were canceled, and rides were shut down. Click the image below to read the story from Staff Writer Cliff Pinckard:

In 1993, the fair added a natural resources area - which you can see in the lower left corner of the map of the fairgrounds. Click the image below to read more from Staff Writer Jeff Frischkorn:

Also in 1993, a member of the fair's board of directors for 12 years died just 10 days before the fair. Earlier in the year, the fair's public relations director of 40 years died. Click the image below to read more from Staff Writer Craig Webb:

In 1995, the official Geauga County flag was dedicated during a ceremony at the Great Geauga County Fair - exactly 16 years ago today. It was designed by Raymond Diedrich in 1953 when he was 15. Diedrich died of cancer in 1980. Click the image below to read more from Staff Writer John Horton:

What are your memories of the Great Geauga County Fair?

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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