Since my parents no longer live in my hometown, my visits have become less frequent. When I returned from Switzerland, I debated when the best time to visit Youngstown would be. When I saw friends and family posting on social media over Labor Day weekend, my question was answered. It’s best to visit during the Canfield Fair! After all, it’s the third largest county fair in the country.
So yes, one year ago, I made plans to visit Youngstown for the Canfield Fair.
I only needed one day at the Fair, so I used the first day to make the rounds. I visited my childhood nanny…
…my grandma (which was extra special, since she had a number of health scares this summer)…
…and my aunt & uncle.
I ate Handel’s Ice Cream (a local favorite!) twice and enjoyed the quality catch up time with all of them.
I stayed with my uncle, who has an amazing green thumb. Can you even believe the size of these flowers?!
While funerals are always sad, I was grateful to be able to attend the funeral of family friend while I was in town. She was a dear friend of my mom, and because of this, she attended many of my mom’s annual Christmas Open Houses. To my delight, the infamous “Mrs. Claus” Christmas sweater (complete with ostrich feathers) made an appearance in the photo collage at the funeral!
After all of the visits and the funeral, it was time for the fair! My uncle took me all around. It was fun to spend the day with him – even if it was unseasonably cold! We played games, saw the crafts & the giant pumpkins, and ate a little bit of everything…corn dogs, french fries, lemon shake, elephant ear, cavatelli, and a cinnamon roll. After 16 years, it was just as delicious as I remembered!
[I was most excited about a corn dog! Glad we found “Ohio’s Favorite!”]
[My wonderful hostess showing off her incredible weaving skills in the craft tent]
[I have so many questions about these pumpkins!! How in the world is it possible to grow a pumpkin to be this big?!]
[We spent a couple of hours with these sweet friends at the end of the day. It was so wonderful to catch up with them! They introduced me to one of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever tasted!]
[Still going strong after 171 years!]
Fifteen years (and five cities) later, Youngstown doesn’t feel like home anymore, but it’s amazing how many memories a place can trigger. I always feel nostalgic when I visit…particularly when I reflect on the people who made my childhood and teenage years so special. They helped build a foundation for me that gave me confidence to go out and explore the world. They’ll always have a special place in my heart…as will the Canfield Fair.