November 25, 2014

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Lorain County Fair attendees will see new structures, food options

New poultry barn at Lorain County Fairgrounds STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Fairgoers this year will notice a new poultry barn, which stands where the former goat barn used to be. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

WELLINGTON — Goats, poultry and rabbits may not notice their new digs at this year’s Lorain County Fair, but fairgoers are more apt to take note of some new spots along the midway to taste something new, or at least different versions of familiar fare.

New eating spots include Sarge’s, an Amherst-based vendor whose signature dishes are mac-and-cheese-adorned pulled pork sandwiches, and chocolate-bacon frosted treats.

There’s steak tip dinners served by Fliehman Concessions, an Ohio vendor, and a Norwalk business serving up Belgian waffles on a stick accompanied by strawberries, blueberries, bananas, whipped cream and other goodies, according to Charisse Nikel, fair secretary.

Sharp-eyed fairgoers should clearly notice the new 46-by-100-foot poultry barn (Building 38) that stands where the former goat barn used to be.

New judging stands across from the grandstand at Lorain County Fair Aug. 12. Steve Manheim

A new announcers-judging stand has been added in the infield of the main track.

This project resulted in a pinball effect of sorts, leading to a shifting of goats to the new poultry building while rabbits are being housed in a barn that used to be occupied by goats, according to Nikel.

The bigger barn will allow goats to be shown closer to where they are housed during fair week, Nikel said.

“The roof leaked, and we had some bad poles in it,” fair board member Don Crawford said of the old poultry barn.

Costing approximately $110,000, the structure sports new steel, concrete walls and flooring, as well as a 22-foot lean-to above the duck ponds, which will lead to more ducks and geese being shown, Crawford said.

Work on the new poultry barn began in March and wasn’t completed until about 10 days ago, according to Crawford.

Other upgrades include a small addition to the former chicken barn (Building 39), which will now house rabbits, along with $42,500 of new blacktop.

“We also installed curtains and roll-up tarps on Buildings 39 and 40 to increase air flow and ventilation,” Crawford said.

Work on the other buildings amounted to about $45,000, Crawford said.

“We try to do something every year in the way of upgrades or repairs,” Crawford said.

Another $36,000 to $38,000 was spent to install new bleachers in the infield of the fairgrounds’ main track, Crawford said.

The bleachers will be taller than previous ones and add a few rows of additional seating.

A new announcers-judging stand has also been added in the infield opposite the main grandstand.

The new stand was donated by the family of Dorrell Pitts, according to Crawford.

A longtime Fair Board member, Pitts was known for his four decades of putting together the fair’s tractor pulls, which he also announced. He died in 2008 at age 79. Pitts’ son, Fred, is a current member of the Fair Board.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

Pick up Sunday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the complete Lorain County Fair tab. Check out our live social media coverage from the fair. Our comprehensive Fair coverage can be found here