Time to ‘Wheel on Down’ to 174th Columbiana fair

As July morphs into August in the Mahoning Valley, tradition dictates that the gates once again will swing open to the Columbiana County Fair in Lisbon. It’s a tradition that officially begins its 174th year Monday and one well worthy of respect, celebration and support.

The Columbiana County agricultural exposition is sandwiched between the early July Trumbull County Fair and the late August Canfield Fair in Mahoning County. As such, it can be overshadowed among some in the Valley by the larger fairs of its more urban neighbors to the north. It should not be.

As a fair tradition, it takes the cake for longevity, ranking ever-so-slightly ahead of the Trumbull and Canfield fairs, both of which turned 173 years young this year.

As a representation of countywide agricultural might – the foundation of any fair worth its salt – the blue ribbon goes to Columbiana County. According to the most recent 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Columbiana County boasts 1,225 farms, almost double the 774 farms in Mahoning County.

Its market value of all crops produced annually stands at a whopping $107 million, $51 million more than produced in Trumbull County.

At this year’s fair, which opens Monday and runs through Aug. 4, residents throughout the Valley can get close-up looks of farming’s proud status as one of the most productive industries today in Columbiana County in particular and our region in general.

The fair at the 90-acre-plus fairgrounds on Lee Avenue in Lisbon is noted for its tradition of providing a wide swath of fun and entertainment for its visitors.

This year is no exception.


Grandstand events, most of which are included with the cost of admission, offer a potpourri of fair fan favorites.

Among them are harness racing, a truck and tractor pull extravaganza, bull riding and barrel racing, a combine demolition derby and the grand finale Aug. 4 of a car demolition derby.

Then there’s the traditional grab bag of fair delights, including dizzying thrill rides, tantalizing food fare, commercial exhibits, health expositions and more.

The fair provides all of those attractions and more for a price that is sure to please most families. Gate admission, which includes mechanical rides, is $6 for adults weekdays until 3 p.m. and $8 after 3 and on weekends. On Tuesday, seniors 62 and over and veterans get in free.

While we support and respect all of our county fairs in the Mahoning Valley, the unique and slightly more rural flavor of the Columbiana County exposition is well worth the drive. So in the words of its familiar and enduring slogan, “Wheel on Down” to the 174th Columbiana County Fair.