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Old-School Thrills

Fair looks back on a century of shooting galleries and merry-go-rounds.

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The Cuyahoga County Fair celebrates its 111th year by paying tribute to its roots. The annual summer festival started way back in the day as an agricultural bash stuffed with horses, pigs, and other things you’d see down on the farm. While Old MacDonald and pals talked shop, carnival-style entertainment kept the rest of the family occupied. This year’s fest shines the spotlight on some of those old-school attractions. “People never outgrow their memories of merry-go-rounds and fairs of their youth,” says spokeswoman Deanne Nestor. “People can remember all the great times they’ve had.”

The centerpiece is a century-spanning exhibit that celebrates local amusement parks. “Our fair was there before all the new, fancy monster coasters,” says Nestor. The annual summertime fave also includes rides, games, and more food vendors than you can shake cheese-on-a-stick at. Daily grandstand shows feature everything from live music and motocross stunts to square-dancing sessions and demolition derbies. Plus, there are lots of roosters, rabbits, and cows on display. Some things never change.
Thu., Aug. 9, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Aug. 10-11, 12-11 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 12, 12-10 p.m.

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