Belmont County Fair Is a Tradition for Generations of Local Families

Photo by Carri Graham Ella Pietranton, 12, of St. Clairsville poses for a photo following the Jr. Fair Dairy Show on Friday morning. Pietranton placed third for showmanship in the dairy show.

For many local people, the Belmont County Fair is a yearly tradition that continues through many generations.

The 170th annual fair is underway and continues throughout the weekend with a variety of livestock showings.

Friday’s fair events began with the Jr. Fair Dairy Show and the Jr. Fair Horse Show. Cassidy Garloch, 16, of Bellaire proudly showed her cow Kit-Kat in the dairy show. Garloch has been a member of the Ohio 4-H youth development program for the past eight years and has been showing dairy cattle for three years now.

“I’ve always enjoyed 4-H,” she said. “I love participating (in the dairy show). No matter what you place, it’s always worth the experience.”

For many area residents, participating in the fair is a family tradition. This rings true for 12-year-old Ella Pietranton of St. Clairsville, who also entered the dairy show. Pietranton placed third for showmanship. She has been participating in the dairy show for the past four years.

Ella’s mother, Crystal Pietranton, said the family attends the fair every year. Showing cattle and other animals has been a long-standing family tradition for many generations, Pietranton said.

“My great-grandparents, her (Ella’s) great-great-grandparents, all, we’ve all showed all the way through (the years). We’ve always had a farm,” Crystal Pietranton said.

She said she has shown a variety of animals in many of the fairs around the state including pigs, cows, lambs and goats.

“We all do it (show animals). It’s quite a tradition. A lot of the people around here, they all came from farms and their families showed (animals). Everyone was involved in the 4-H and youth development programs that they do,” she said.

Friends Kierra Phillips, 9, and Ronnie Duvall, 11, both of Barnesville, were happily tending to their goats, which they showed in the fair on Thursday. This year was a first for Phillips and her goat Bob.

“I think it’s a lot of fun,” she said, agreeing that she would like to participate again next year.

John and Mary Wodarcyk of St. Clairsville have been attending the fair for more than 20 years. John is involved with St. Clairsville American Legion Post 159, which aids with the fair’s opening ceremony flag-raising on Wednesday of fair week, along with Bethesda American Legion Post 60. John said he has been a part of the flag ceremony for 10 years now.

Friday was Senior Citizens Day, when anyone age 62 and over can attend the fair for free. The couple joked that they come to the fair because of the free entry cost.

“That’s one reason,” John laughed, agreeing with his wife. “We also like to see the 4-H stuff.”

The proud grandparents said their granddaughter has a display at the fair.

“We like to go see the exhibits, the canned goods and all that stuff,” John said.

Mary said she enjoys looking at the quilts.

The Belmont County Fair continues through Sunday afternoon and will close at 5 p.m. that day.


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