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Belmont County Fair Is Back

Photo by Carri Graham The Belmont County Fair Royal Court stands on stage after the crowning ceremony Monday. Pictured, from left, are Seth Schumacher, junior fair prince; Delaney Steadman, junior fair princess; Ronnie DuVall, duke; Jenna DuVall, duchess; and Faith Galavich, junior fair queen.

The 172nd annual Belmont County Fair is officially underway as officials raised the flag and cut the ribbon during Monday’s opening ceremony.

A small crowd gathered as the American Flag was raised at the flagpole followed by fair board members and county officials cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Afterward, members of the fair board and attendees gathered inside the Robinson Stage where the ceremony continued. Fair board president Ed Campbell thanked all the supporters, county and state officials, and volunteers.

“This is what makes our county great — you guys coming out here supporting our youth and everything that they do,” he said.

Campbell said it has been a struggle over the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic; however, they have persisted to make it a great fair. He said there are numerous hand sanitizing stations around the fairgrounds and asked attendees to alert a board member if any of the stations are running low.

He also mentioned the numerous improvements that have been made over the past year, including blacktop paving around the midway, walkways and around the barns to make them more handicap accessible; a new junior fair building with the aid of a “gracious” donor; upgrades to the old junior fair building and to the barns; and they are in the process of extending the parking lot to behind the horse barn to allow for additional parking.

Barb Ballint, director of the Belmont County Tourism Council, spoke of the importance of the fair to residents, the county and its heritage. She said thousands of people will attend the fair helping to support the local economy while also providing needed entertainment for children and their families. She also said the fair allows residents to celebrate their community and provide community spirit.

“The fair is vital to our local communities — socializing, learning, meeting new people and helping our communities, and it’s fun,” she said.

The fair’s royalty was also crowned Monday afternoon. Faith Galavich is the junior fair queen, Ronnie DuVall the duke, Jenna DuVall the duchess, Seth Schumacher the prince, and Delaney Steadman the princess.

Galavich said she is excited the fair has returned after only a scaled back version of the junior fair was held last year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the fair in full force again. Last year, we unfortunately couldnt have a full fair and I’m very excited to see all the members and to see the community come out and support the fair,” she said.

The fair continues through Sunday. Today, it will begin at 8 a.m. with the all junior fair market and will conclude with the Jr. Fair rabbit weigh-in at 7:30 p.m.at the Rabbit Barn. The Zerbini Family Circus will perform at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Rafter M. Rodeo will appear at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with the Taylor Jo and the Copper Creek Band scheduled at 7 p.m.

Fair Field Day will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, with the Hee Haw Variety Show set for 7 p.m., along with KOI Drag Racing.

Friday is senior citizens day when all residents ages 62 and up will have free admittance to the fair. The Zerbini Family Circus will perform at 1 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. The Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association Tractor and Truck Pull will begin at 7 p.m. along with Lacy & Her Attitude at the Robinson Stage. The Jr. Fair Square Dance will begin at 8 p.m. with Deep Down Country.

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