Those looking for a respite from the heat, the animals and the midway could stop and shop in the Merchants Building and the Coliseum at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, and it is hard to go away from them empty-handed.
For instance, there was expert gardening advice and free seed packets from the Delaware County Master Gardeners.
“We’re part of the Ohio State University and we do this every year,” said Nancy Traub, a volunteer from Galena. “We’re here to educate the public. It’s a lot of fun.”
The buildings were open daily during the fair from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and less than an hour after opening on Friday, Traub said she had counted 29 visitors to her booth.
Also doing good business was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers booth, where youth could take a quick water safety quiz and get their choice of a free prize.
“We’ve had 5,224 people stop by our booth,” said Park Ranger Marty Webb of Delaware. “I’ve been doing this 10 years, and that’s the most we’ve ever had. We had a record first three days, including 763 Monday morning.”
However, not all the booths were being manned at the time, and you know the saying about the early bird getting the worm? It was true, at least for The Sunbury News and Delaware Gazette (yes, a shameless plug) over a competitor who shall not be named.
Speaking of competitors, Delaware County’s Democratic and Republican parties both had booths in the Merchants Building, and it appeared the Republicans were getting more foot traffic. It may have helped that they had their own fun gubernatorial straw poll — placing a corn kernel in a Mason jar for your favorite candidate. It looked pretty close, but current Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor seemed to have the edge.
Many of the vendors we talked to said the Friday after the Little Brown Jug is generally their slowest day, but that didn’t stop some from putting the hard-sell on for, say, keeping leaves out of gutters. Others were laid back, and let the fair-goer inquire about their goods or services.
Some of the exhibitors had been at the fair all week, and you could tell they were weary but still friendly. Others said this was their first day, and they looked fresh and enthusiastic.
You name it, you could get it: Home Depot Home Services; Able Roofing; Sleep Number mattresses; J.R. Watkins extracts and spices; Henna Fashions; Platinum Collection; Chiropractic; Champion Windows; DirecTV; The Gideons International; Jose Madrid Salsa; Mary Kay; Scentsy; Softub; Ohio Health; Mount Carmel (with mums from the Jug); to name just a few.
Need a dress, a sports lanyard, or a puppet? How about an Ohio road map? All that and more could be had.
The other fun thing about visiting these buildings is that you can find out about upcoming local happenings. As an example, the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities is celebrating 50 years of county boards with its first-ever block party 2-4:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at 7991 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center. And SourcePoint is having a dinner and auction to mark its 25th anniversary 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at 800 Cheshire Road.
For more information, please visit www.delawarecountyfair.com.