MARIETTA - Some 6,700 fair-goers attended the Washington County Fair on Sunday, according to Bonnie Gill, secretary for the Washington County Fair Board.
Saturday's crowd was less than in 2011, while Sunday's numbers were higher than those last year.
"We're hoping for another yesterday (today)," Gill said Monday.
Photo by Sharon Bopp
Junior Fair Small Animal Sale participants wait to take their chickens into the auction tent during the Washington County Fair on Monday.
Gill, who has served on the fair board 10 years, started coming to the fair as a child. She has fond memories of walking to her grandma's house across the street from the fairgrounds to take a rest and then return to the fair.
"My dad came for the harness racing," said Gill. "That was his thing."
The fair tradition continued with Gill's two daughters, now ages 22 and 17, who started showing lambs and dairy feeders through a 4-H Club at age 9.
Despite rain Sunday evening, the Buckeye Rodeo continued without delays. However, the rodeo's clown did not perform at intermission and cut his second act due to weather and ground conditions.
"It was pouring the rain during (the rodeo's) barrel racing and bull riding events," said fair volunteer Aimee Wheeler, 26, of Marietta.
Approximately 150 animals were auctioned during the Junior Fair Small Animal Sale on Monday, which started at 3 p.m. Animals included chickens, turkeys, goats and rabbits.
As an attendee in the rabbit/poultry tent waved his fly swatter and waited for the sale to begin, flies bit back at fair-goers and a confused rooster crowed at the wrong time of day.
From her location in front of a fan at one of the tent's entrances, 4-H member Jocelynn Semon, 14, of Waterford, cooled her heels while preparing to present her six Cornish White Rock Cross chickens for auction. Semon won fourth place overall in the competition and first place in class 7.
"We're so proud of her," said mom Pamela Semon, 45. "She was so close (to winning overall) this year."
Jocelynn Semon started her 4-H market project in April. When she got her chickens in mid-July, they weighed one ounce each. Seven weeks later, they weighed nine to 10 pounds. Jocelynn's award-winning chickens were fed a high-protein show feed called "mash" and the occasional cooked egg yolks.
"The yolks put the meat on their bones so they're not just gaining fat and muscle," she said.
This is her year showing at the Washington County Fair and her second year showing chickens.
"The chickens are absolutely adorable and it's easy to work with them," Jocelynn said.
For Lauryn Simpson,10, of Marietta, it's all about the rabbits.
"I like to show bunnies," Lauryn said. "I think it's a lot of fun."
Simpson's Tort Lion Head rabbit, Justin, won this year's "Best of Breed" at the competition.
"He's named after Justin Bieber," noted Simpson.
She entered two rabbits in this year's competition, which she calls "bunny camp."
"I take them around and let them see all the other animals," said Simpson. "I told them 'If you don't win that's okay, as long as you do your best.'"
This year's Junior Fair Small Animal Sale was sponsored by Washington Electric Cooperative Inc.
Fair participants and fair-goers alike want to enjoy their fair food. Monday's offerings didn't disappoint. In the fair's concession area, Brittany Cline, of Dana's Delights in New Matamoras, sold funnel cakes - traditional crowd pleasers - as well as fried Twinkies and fried Oreos. Two fried Twinkies sold for $3, while the fried Oreos sold five for $4.
Dana's Delights stocked up on six boxes of Twinkies and 12 packages of Oreos before the weekend's fair began.
"The Oreos sell a lot better than the Twinkies," Cline said.