9/3-7: Great Geauga County Fair

It may sound grandiose, but the Great Geauga County Fair has earned the right to call itself “great.” It’s not only one of the largest county fairs in Ohio, it’s the oldest, celebrating its 186th outing this year. The gates at the Burton Fairgrounds (14373 Cheshire St., Burton) — where the fair has been held since the 1880s — swing open this morning at 8 a.m., with the exhibit halls opening at 10 and the rides at noon. The fair boasts more than 12,000 exhibits, 2,000 animals and constant entertainment — from polka bands and gospel groups to daily performances by the all-volunteer Great Geauga County Fair Band (formed in 1938), with more than 60 members playing brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. There are archery demonstrations, clowns, a cowboy shooting show, Amish cart races and — oh yes — demolition derbies! There are two of ’em: at 8:30 tonight and Saturday. Buy your tickets early (they’re available on the website) — $5 tonight, $7 Saturday — so you won’t get shut out of these always sold-out events. The obligatory truck and tractor pull is at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with $10 general admission and $12 pit passes. Daily fair admission is $7; kids 12 and under free. — Anastasia Pantsios

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