As the afternoon August heat baked the fairgrounds on Monday, a frequent sight among fairgoers was hands full of snow cones from the Sweet Shivers stand. Owner Samantha Buzzard said this year's opening day was as busy as ever.
Sweet Shivers sits in the middle of all the activity near the Phillips Arena. The family business has been a popular spot at the fair for about 26 years now, according to Buzzard who has been selling snow cones in the booth for the last six years.
Buaazerd said one of the best parts is the sense of community associated with the fair and 4-H. She knows a lot of the kids by name or by their snow cone flavor, blue raspberry and the unique “Tiger’s Blood” being among the most popular.
Buzzard also owns and operates the Pine Rustique gifts and décor shop in Cochranton, but closes the shop during the fair every year to spend the week at the fairgrounds.
“She stops her life to come out here for these kids,” said Charity Palmiero, who was helping in the Sweet Shivers booth on Monday.
This week is a bit different then past fairs.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some of the traditional fair events were cancelled or moved to the Motorsports Weekend planned for later this month. Others, such as the exhibition shows and the Barnyard Olympics, will still be held this week as scheduled. Monday’s Barnyard Olympics event of hay bale throwing brought a few dozen youth competitors to the pulling track.The furthest toss wins in each age category.
Activities at the fairgrounds will continue Tuesday as the dairy goat show kicks things off at 9 a.m. followed by the market meat goat show at 11 a.m. Both events are in the Phillips arena. Sheep take over the arena in the afternoon at 1 p.m. More barnyard olympics events continue with a pie eating contest at 4 p.m. followed by Trivia on the Scrubgrass stage. A memorial for Rainy Linn, a long-time fair staple who passed away over the winter as well as a presentation from Friends of the Fair will be held at 5:30 p.m. the Kiwanis Bowl.
The day ends in the Kiwanis Bowl with a youth horse show and the popular animal dress up contest.